Success Story

She Finds Her Best Strategy Is to Stay Cool!

Kathlyn Fowler's co-workers often thought she was red-hot angry. Her face was so red and flushed, they kept asking her if she was upset about something.

This Performer Keeps Rosacea from the Spotlight

As someone accustomed to the public spotlight, Marlane Fairleigh knows that when you look your best, you feel your best. So, having the red face of rosacea can bring you the kind of notoriety you don't want.

"A rosacea flare-up really bothers me," said Fairleigh, a classical singer and former business consultant and public speaker. "If my face is red, I am afraid people are noticing."

Ignoring Doctor's Orders Leads to Rhinophyma

Joseph Sheehan may be a thick-skinned individual, but when his rosacea got out of control, it was more than he could bear.

Sheehan, a naval architect who teaches ship design, developed rosacea around 60. "At first it was basically just a redness, and oily skin around the nose," he said.

He tried a few home remedies and lived with the symptoms for about a year. Finally, he saw a dermatologist.

"He prescribed an oral antibiotic, but I didn't like the idea of having to use it indefinitely," Sheehan said. "So I never took it."

Map of Red Lines Leads Her Down Wrong Path

When Joyce Kierstead first began to notice the road map of tiny red lines appearing on her chin in her late 20s, she didn't realize it would lead her down the wrong path.

"It sent me right to the nearest cosmetic counter, where I ended up getting all the wrong information," Kierstead said. She was often told her problem was that she was not cleaning her skin properly, or that she needed a better foundation.

A Volleyball Friend Told Him He Has Rosacea

It wasn't unusual for Bob Vilsoet's face to get particularly red while he played volleyball. After all, the competition was usually fierce, and the game would get his blood flowing.

But when the facial redness persisted, and his face began to look red and "splotchy" all the time, he wondered what was up.

He Thought It Was Just Dust in His Eyes

Mark (not his real name) couldn't see the whole picture. In fact, he was having trouble seeing at all. His eyes were red and irritated. But he never suspected that this irritation was related in any way to the mysterious redness on his face.

"I woke up one morning and my eyes were sore," Mark said. "It felt like I had something in them that I couldn't get out." Despite the irritation he went to work anyway.

When Her Tan Faded, She Had Suspicious Red Patches

It wasn't until her tan disappeared that Karin van der Valk noticed the suspicious red patches on her left cheek.

"I thought it was sunburn, but when my tan was all gone in the winter, I realized the red patches were quite prominent," she said.

It took her a while to discover the cause of the redness. "I also have asthma and allergies, and tend to break out in red patches when I'm suffering an attack," she said.

Her 'High Color' Face Turned Out to Be Rosacea

It was the network of visible blood vessels on her face that bothered Rita Edwards the most. As a frequent blusher, she was accustomed to having "high color" on her face, but this was more than she could bear.

"They made my face look purple-red," she said. "I also had dry, bumpy skin, almost like acne."

Even though she doesn't like to wear makeup, Rita tried foundations and creams to cover her blemishes, redness and blood vessels. "But they just couldn't be covered," Rita said.

"People would ask me what was wrong when my face got red," she said.

She Skated Her Way to Rosacea Redness

Red was not a new color to Kathleen Shoup. Her fair Irish complexion had blushed and flushed most of her life. But then as a roller dance skater, her cheeks began to look particularly red hot.

It was after she started skating competitively at the age of 48 that Shoup noticed her redness was worse. "My long workouts caused red blotches and they took longer to go away than before," she said. "I finally went to the dermatologist because I had a bad rash across my face," she added. The dermatologist diagnosed the rash as rosacea.

She Never Suspected Her Natural Color Was Rosacea Red

Diane Hilmo was rather proud of the "natural" color of her face, a little redness on the cheeks that gave her a healthy look. She never imagined it was something to worry about or that it could possibly be the symptom of a chronic skin disorder.

"I had seen pictures of people with rosacea, faces with red rashes," she said. "But I didn't look anything like those pictures, so I ignored it."


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National Rosacea Society
196 James St.
Barrington, IL 60010

Our Mission

The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.