I first noticed my rosacea when my nose seemed red every time I looked in the mirror. My face seemed to be flushed more often than I remembered, and it kept getting uncomfortably warm. It was my senior year in college. Looking back at pictures of myself through high school, I had a peaches-and-cream complexion, which had never meant anything to me. If only things had stayed so simple….
After a few weeks of wondering, I went to see a dermatologist and was diagnosed with rosacea. He started me on tetracycline and Noritate cream—pretty standard.
During the coming months my rosacea worsened. I exercised most days, and I remember the redness took a long time to go away after workouts. Then it stopped going away. It spread to my cheeks. I began to get burning sensations when I flushed.
My skin seemed to only get more and more sensitive. Little things—a walk outside in cold wind, a warm classroom, physical activity at my part-time job as a grocery stocker, even socializing—made my face hot and uncomfortable. I gradually scaled back my life. I stopped seeing friends. I stopped going places. I mostly stayed at home.
Over the next two years, my condition deteriorated. I saw several doctors. I followed their instructions, but the problem was, nothing seemed to help despite my use of nearly every prescription and treatment I could find.
Here is what I tried:
- Blood pressure drugs that made me sleepy or gave me headaches (clonidine, nadolol)
- Antibiotics that upset my stomach and stopped me from eating (tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, clarithromycin)
- Topical creams (Noritate, Metrogel)
- Topical sulfur compounds
- Antihistamines (benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin)
- Any “gentle” moisturizer and cleanser I could get my hands on
- Laser and Intense Pulsed Light treatments at several clinics
- A host of nutritional supplements
As my rosacea got worse, my skin got more and more sensitive. It was like anything I put on my skin would irritate it and make me flush more. I developed ocular rosacea, which was terribly discouraging.
I kept trying expensive “gentle” moisturizers and cleansers. I used eyelid scrubs for the dryness and redness in my eyes. I continued limiting my life and activities. I drove hundreds of miles for a total of 25 laser treatments (costing a few hundred dollars each) from three different doctors. None of these methods were effective at stopping, much less reversing the progress of my rosacea.
By the summer of 2003, my rosacea had become so severe, my face so sensitive, that I was forced to quit my job and move back in with my parents. Most of the time, I could not leave the relative safety of their air-conditioned home.
To keep cool, to keep my face from flushing and burning, I kept a fan on me most of the time. I misted my face with purified water. I drank several quarts of iced water during the day. Everything I ate or drank had to be served cold. I used my phone only for short periods (the heat of the receiver against my face made me flush). I could not sit down (the small shift in blood pressure to my face made me flush). I felt like some sort of cursed zombie.
That fall, I was put in the hospital for seven days and my face exploded: it was covered in papules and pustules, redness and scabbing.
Here are the photos from that time:
When I got home from the hospital, I stopped putting anything on my face. It was a rough time, and my rosacea determined almost everything I did or didn’t do. Then, six months later, I began using Low-Level Red Light Therapy (LLRLT).
For several weeks I used a small red light unit I had received as a birthday present. When I noticed my flushing, redness and pain were all getting a little bit better, I began an intensive course of research on red light therapy. I was unsatisfied with the device I had received because it was small and low-powered. I knew a better model could be built. Eventually, I designed my own prototype red light device which offered more powerful treatment sessions that treated my entire face all at once. As my rosacea steadily fell into remission, I revised my design.
I began building red light therapy devices and sending them to other sufferers I’d met in support groups online. The positive response of these sufferers is what led me to develop the Soothing Rain™ Light Unit.
The Soothing Rain™ Light Unit is the culmination of my exhausting, painful seven-year struggle with rosacea. I have designed the unit to address the unique concerns of rosacea suffers who are wrestling with the disorder and getting no help from their dermatologists or current treatments. It’s also a great help to people who are living with their rosacea, but aren’t satisfied with their redness level or flushing sensitivity. You canhave pale, even-toned skin again!
I hope that your skin is not as sensitive as mine was, but if you’re having trouble with rosacea, try the Soothing Rain™ Light Unit. I’m confident you’ll see great skin benefits and get relief from your rosacea symptoms.