Most people see me and tell me I have beautiful skin–and I do (heck, I even co-authored the book on it: Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age.
But, I have a secret: I have suffered from rosacea for years, but I’ve kept it in check with the help of a dermatologist.
Fair-skinned folk like me typically are prone to the vascular condition that is thought to be caused by inflammation. Before I got treatment, I used to get embarrassed by my nearly perpetual red face (I could always feel when it started to go on “fire”), random breakouts, and bloodshot eyes and thought I was simply stuck with my self-proclaimed sensitive, easily irritated skin. Once I wised up, got myself to a dermatologist and started treatment for the condition to keep it under control, I began to feel and happily for my social and professional life speaking engagements, TV and radio appearances look better. It turns out there are lots of skin care solutions a dermatologist can provide to help people get the skin they’ve always wanted.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share some exciting news. The National Rosacea Society has undertaken a campaign to spread awareness on the condition, starting with an easy to navigate site www.RosaceaFacts.com that offers a quiz to see if you have it; an immediate way to find a dermatologist that lives near you, and of course, facts about rosacea – lots of them. And the facts are astounding. Over 16 million Americans (to give you some perspective that’s more than double the entire population of New York city, which the 2009 Census Bureau measures at a little over 8 million) suffer from rosacea, but only 10% get treatment for it. To help them in this effort, actress Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes from the beloved show of women of a certain age everywhere, Sex and the City), who suffers from the disease herself has filmed a public service announcement where she discusses the impact of rosacea on her self-esteem and professional life, and emphasizes how important it is to find out if you have it, so you can get medical treatment.
Cynthia serves as a prime example that no one (not even a celebrity) is picture perfect. So take the quiz and check to see what your symptoms are to see if you have rosacea. If you have it, find a dermatologist. I’m glad I did. Based on my own personal experiences and professional background I feel the pain of fellow sufferers and want to spread the word that there is help out there. Let’s face it: information is power.
Just the Facts Ma’am (or Mom)
1) Rosacea is a vascular condition (so don’t worry you can’t catch it from someone who has it, like me), caused by inflammation and the cause of it, like most mysteries in life, is unknown. As mentioned, symptoms include facial redness and possibly in advanced stages, a red nose (and who wants to even let it get that far), accompanied by a lovely array of pimples, red bumps and irritated eyes. If left untreated, it can worsen over time and progress to thickened skin and permanent visible blood vessels (think, W.C. Fields territory).
2)There is no cure. Ok, it’s not like it’s an ‘you’re at death’s door’ disease, but if left untreated you can certainly end up looking like something out of a crypt. And just to make matters worse, its exacerbated by several of mine and Cynthia Nixon’s favorite activities: being out in the sun (which dilates blood vessels and weakens collagen by the way), taking a hot bath or shower, eating spicy food, drinking hot liquids (aka hot cocoa, coffee and soup), drinking red wine and exercise (ok, scratch exercise for me).
3) Think Maintenance Just like you give your car a check-up, you need to keep your skin feeling and looking its best (after all, your skin is the largest organ of your body). So if you do have rosacea, it’s important to get medical treatment and follow the recommendations of your dermatologist. After taking the Rosacea 101 quiz and reading about the triggers at www.RosaceaFacts.com, the site will even help you find a local dermatologist. Now that’s service!
Bottom line: don’t let having rosacea keep you from having a full and fulfilling life. I got help from my dermatologist (and now my skin looks beautiful and I’m filled with self-confidence), and with a little help from Rosacea Facts you can, too!
Find up-to-the-minute information at The RosaceaFacts facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rosaceafacts. Follow them on twitter at #RosaceaFacts
MusingsonMotherhoodmidlife.com is a blogger, journalist, author, advocate for women’s and mothers’ issues, content curator, former magazine Editor-in-Chief and most importantly I’m a mom. I can be reached at email@example.com
www.MusingsonMotherhoodmidlife.com was not paid for this blog post.
Disclosure: This post enters me into the running to be a RosaceaFacts Ambassador, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P.