Rosacea: more than just a beauty issue
The burden of rosacea extends beyond the visible signs; the symptoms of rosacea also have an emotional effect. It was after months of constant external attention from peers and the wildly insensitive comment of a friend’s father asking her, “Oh, are you on the plonk?” in response to Kelli’s flushed and irritated skin, that she decided to visit her doctor for help.
Back then, treatment and understanding of the condition was not as advanced as it is today, so Kelli underwent countless trials and treatment cycles—from medicinal and cosmetic topical creams to laser and courses of strong medications that caused her skin to bleed.
Kelli says she was left feeling perpetually deflated.
“The unfortunate thing is that you have to purge before your skin gets better,” she says.
“But for me, I purged, and purged and kept purging, but it never ever got better.”
Kelli lived with the burden of rosacea for 19 years before finally finding the right medical management for her.
Rosacea: What is it?
According to a report commissioned by Galderma titled ‘Beyond the visible: rosacea and psoriasis of the face’, rosacea is notoriously unpredictable. Flare-ups can ambush people unexpectedly, and even when people can identify some triggers, at other times there can be no identifiable cause.
Additionally, some triggers, such as stress, are unavoidable. The report also highlights the emotional impacts of rosacea, with people suffering rosacea often having lower levels of self-worth. In fact, 58 per cent of patients surveyed felt their disease significantly affected their daily lives.
It's a burden that Kelli understands all too well.
“I truly and honestly think I missed out on a lot of relationships when I was younger due to rosacea,” she says.
“It really held me back.”
Without the proper expert support in place, such as a general practitioner or dermatologist, and a customised management plan for the individual, managing rosacea can be difficult, both emotionally and physically.
“After 10 years, I decided to stop trying,” Kelli admits.
“I just gave up and kind of accepted [my rosacea].”
Years later, Kelli realised how detrimental her choice to stop treatment was. She began noticing changes for the worse in her skin and, after a visit to a dermatologist, it was confirmed she had early signs of rhinophyma—the thickening and enlargement of skin glands of the nose. Kelli decided to seek medical intervention again.
This time, her experience was vastly different. Kelli scheduled regular appointments with a specialist dermatologist, who tailored treatments for her skin and needs. Kelli describes the impact of having finally found the right healthcare professional as “absolutely life changing”.
Receiving the correct treatment for her rosacea has immensely improved both Kelli’s skin and mental wellbeing. Kelli also credits the open and professional relationship she had with her dermatologist for helping her arrive at a much happier and healthier place within herself.
The once self-proclaimed tomboy now finds joy in makeup, but happily announces she doesn’t rely on wearing any to feel confident. And, despite triggering the occasional flare-up, she can allow herself to drink alcohol and socialise freely with friends.
Kelli’s advice to anyone suffering the burden of rosacea? Seek help.
“Find a good doctor and if you trust that doctor, run with it!”
Brought to you by Galderma