Success Story

Her Wit's End Leads to a Proper Diagnosis

Susan Stover thought she was going through another streak of bad luck with her complexion. Since the age of 12, she had battled periodic outbreaks of acne and pimples. Now, at the age of 37, she found herself again in the midst of a fight for clear skin.

Yet something was different this time. "I was bright red with pimples on my cheeks, nose and chin. I thought it might be due to my makeup," she said.

Severe Rosacea Made Laughing Very Painful

When Jose Vega Aquino of Puerto Rico started using a popular cream to treat his acne, instead of seeing an improvement in his skin, his face became inflamed with red, sore pimples.

"There was itching, dryness and redness," Aquino said. "Any gesture, even a laugh, was very painful."

He discontinued using the acne treatment but the redness and pain persisted. "I stopped using my contacts and tried to hide behind my glasses. I felt terrible," he said.

Her Gorgeous White Skin Turned Red and Painful

In a single day, Dollie Timpe's life changed. It was shortly after she underwent minor surgery to remove a lesion from her face. Timpe, 84 years old, woke up one morning, the day before she was to return to her dermatologist for a follow-up appointment, with a strange and painful breakout on her face.

"There was a lot of redness and a lot of big pimples," Timpe said. "It just made me sick." It was especially difficult, said Timpe, because she was accustomed to having gorgeous white skin all of her life. "Everyone wanted to know my formula for perfect skin," she said.

She Was Clueless to the Cause of Her Sensitive Red Face

At first Bennie Chung, a 23-year-old woman from Hong Kong, had no clue why her skin appeared to be so sensitive, flaring up from time to time. She thought it was a condition she inherited. Her 50-year-old mother, in fact, had the same red face.

But as the condition worsened, she knew she had to find some answers. "We thought we might be suffering from an allergy," said Chung, who normally had very fair skin. "We bought a lot of different cosmetics to fight against the way we looked."

Why Did Coffee Make Her Face Look Red?

Patty McMinn couldn't imagine there might be a medical reason for her red puffy nose. She did think it was strange, however, that the redness seemed to appear after drinking coffee.

A bank officer, McMinn started noticing the redness after her morning coffee break. "My colleagues started making comments," McMinn said. "I was concerned because in my position, I was constantly before the public."

Denial Delays Her Diagnosis and Treatment

To this day, Virginia Cox is not sure how she got her first copy of Rosacea Review. One day, it simply seemed to arrive in her mailbox.

"I was shocked," Cox said. "I asked several of my friends if someone had submitted my name, but they said 'no.' Now I know it was really a miracle."

That's because Cox started reading the newsletter and ultimately recognized in herself the disease it described. In her mid-50s, Cox had developed a redness on her cheeks and nose. Yet despite the similarities to rosacea, she initially ignored her gut feelings.

Devastating Skin Condition Strikes During Her Pregnancy

At the height of one of the happiest times of her life, awaiting the birth of her first child, Aimee Skaggs was hit with a devastating facial skin condition.

"All through my pregnancy, my complexion became redder and redder, until it was almost purple," Skaggs said. "I tried not to let it get me down. I was excited about my first child and didn't want to feel as though the only thing I cared about was how I looked."

Sufferer Finds Help on Rosacea Society Web Site

Lori Appling felt completely in the dark. For some unknown reason, her complexion was acting up. She developed welt-like pimples on her cheeks. Her first thought was that it must be acne, but none of the acne products she used improved her symptoms. In fact, her face got worse.

"It really worried me," Appling said. "I never had any problems with my complexion. I knew I had to do something."

Sufferer Turns to Poetry to Soothe His Skin Problem

Theodore C. Kent, Ph.D. has his own method for soothing his rosacea. He turns to poetry to help relieve stress and his rosacea symptoms.

"Poetry, because of its rhythms, dives into your psyche," said Dr. Kent, a retired clinical psychologist who now teaches retirees who have gone back to school. "It provides advice and encouragement that make you feel better about yourself."

She Overcomes Rosacea Heartache for Normal Life

Denise Balzo had always taken great pains to look her best. She exercised nearly every day and was blessed with a clear complexion. Then, two years ago the heartache began.

"It started after a death in my family," Balzo said. "I was under such tremendous stress, I started to break out."

Balzo developed a red area on her cheeks and across her nose. More alarming than the redness, though, was the severity of the bumps and pimples that appeared.


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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.