2011 - Now
I notice that I am doing a bit better in the summer, as long as temperatures aren't too high, and despite not liking the heat or the sun. Winters for me bring out seb derm for me, and I often have red rashes around my mouth and inner cheeks. I also feel I look way more puffy then and swollen. The past years I also developed cold urticaria; itchy hives on my cheeks in the cold weather. The flushing and burning and overall redness seems to be up too then. I tend to keep a picture diary, so I can look back after some time and get a less subjective image. When I am having a particular bad day however, I usually can't even be bothered with taking a pic, so those ghastly ones ate not on display here. However, here are some images and descriptions.
These last 2 years have not been as bad as the dreaded worst year 2005. I guess the diary updates will highlight more of the specifics. Probably more coverings of the bad days too :) When things go very well I am usually out and about and not wailing behind the computer screen. I find that the inflammation and flushing attacks come in waves.I can now on a good day get out of the fan and stay sort of pink for a good deal of time, as long as I don't sit in the bright sun and have a cold drink to sip on. When I go somewhere, I sit in the car with the fan (or if need be the air-conditioning) on. I can´t have the sun shining on my skin through the window as it causes redness and extra burning. I once read it up and there is some uv ray that penetrates the glass, UVA I think it is. So when I drive, I try to keep my face out of direct sunlight, somehow. I have about 15 hats to choose from and always wear one when outside. Fluorescent lighting in the supermarkets are a pest too and I keep the hat on when I have a bad day. On normal or good days the lights don't bother me as much, as long as I don't make a camp site right under them. Normal light bulbs are fine. When I am not in the fan and not in the airco, I bring a cold pack and gladly I can go out nowadays without the need to use it for an hour or two, especially when it is cool and windy. Wind is my friend :) I have ice cubes in a plastic bag with me to suck on when I feel the heat and burning crawling up again. Even when not too red, my skin still burns to a degree, maybe from the thinned skin and the many years of flushing and dermal and nerve damage. But I got used to that. The flushing attacks bring just such heat and pain, that I need to cool it. In the evenings the burning is worse, the body temperature rises a bit and I get tired.
During the day, in the summer, I try to sunbath for half an hour at my ´sun deck´, with my face in the shade and body in the sun. It helps me get enough vitamin D, as supplements make me flush for some reason and I am critically low on vitamin D according to my immunologist. I love to watch movies and series, discover new music, read papers, do my research work for uni (work, not studies anymore) and art columns that I write for a magazine, and I love internet and staying in contact with friends and fellow rosaceans. I met some amazing and extraordinary people over the years due to this all and the support we give each other is superb, and I am not trying to be mushy here! As with every chronic illness, information, sharing and support can be such important factors to stay positive. And there are some amazing, generous and supportive (rosacea)friends out there.
Anyway, the ´Bad´ and `Ugly´ section below shows the troubled cheeks at such times.
An impression of the good and the bad days of 2011 and 2012, all skin wise of course, but generally my mood plummets as well when I feel burned up and with a face on fire..
Some painful flushes, some painful rashes. I doubt the redness looks as bad as it did when I looked in the mirror, but for an impression of what my subtype of rosacea looks like when it´s not going well. I burn badly in all these circumstances pictured, my skin feels boiling hot, throbbing pain, as if I have a bad sunburn, but then worse :(
Very unflattering, I am aware of that... I have to train myself now that I have this blog to smile and look friendly even with a face like a lobster. Here you see rashes, rosacea flares, sebheroic dermatitis outbreaks and eczema, sometimes lovely combined :) And a very swollen and inflamed face. Luckily this is not something I deal with on a daily basis, but I still get such flares. And that´s it for now with the picture section. I don't want to put your sore eyes under more strain from seeing these fire engine faces.
|I'm sorry that it looks so yucky, this is actually eczema with seb derm, always in winter|