I posted this mad scientist pic on my social media a couple of months ago but no one seemed to know what was actually being done to my poor little face:
Thanks to my Irish/Scottish roots I’m one of those ridiculously fair-skinned folks that has not only flushed & blushed for no apparent reason since childhood but also miserably inherited the rosacea that can appear later in life in those with a pale complexion. Humph!
And just what is Rosacea (roh-zay-sha)?
A chronic, inflammatory skin condition which principally affects the face. Rosacea causes facial redness, flushing and produces small, red bumpy pustules – gross!
Unfortunately, during the past year my rosacea worsened and what had originally been quite easy to cover with a bit of make-up had transformed into a rather challenging collection of angry-looking raised bumps on my cheeks.
After trying every single natural homeopathic remedy I could get my hands on and having each one fail spectacularly as apparently they only show positive results against bacterial rosacea and have absolutely zero effect on inherited rosacea, I decided to bite the bullet and let my dermatologist scorch it away with a laser.
Here’s what happened:
The day of my laser treatment and my rosily glowing rosacea was clearly visible and bumpy.
The treatment itself took less than an hour and, although the bursts of laser light and pulsating sound of the machine were a bit jarring at first, the actual treatment wasn’t very painful. It simply felt like tiny pin pricks, getting my tattoos was loads more uncomfortable but in all honesty neither caused any real pain – that said, I have been told by numerous doctors (& all of my tattoo artists) that I seem to have a higher tolerance for pain than the average norm. (yay?)
Immediately after the laser treatment my face was on fire and I was given what can only be described as hilarious breast implant-esque cooling packs to help ease the burning sensation.
The dermatologist sent me home with a pharmacy list & prescription to help future rosacea pustule bumps from forming:
Actinica sunscreen specifically formulated for fair, cancer-risk skin (€16), Oraycea rosacea medication (€5 with prescription) & Aquareva light moisturising cream for dry, senstive skin (€12).
Looking in the mirror the day after my treatment was fairly unpleasant as all of the lasered areas were swollen, puffy and had formed large scabs. Ew.
By day 6 post treatment the swelling had gone down but the scabs had worsened. Ugh.
12 days after the laser treatment and the scabbed areas were healing nicely and the bumpy pustules had completely disappeared. Hooray!
Nearly 2 months post laser treatment and my skin, although still red in certain areas, was smooth and baby soft.
Thankfully the rosacea pustules have yet to return and I am now back to having manageable, easily camouflaged redness – fingers crossed that the bumps have been banished for good (or at least for the 2 – 3 years promised by the dermatologist!)
Update: unfortunately those pesky rosacea pustules returned a few months after the laser treatment. The treatment actually only affects the existing rosacea pustules & veins that are targeted with the laser during the treatment and does absolutely nothing for the redness and flushing nor does it prevent future pustules from forming in a slightly different area. The lengthy healing time was also a huge drawback as it took nearly 2 months for my skin to mend itself (those scabby dry areas were impossible to conceal while they healed).
Take a peek at my Living with Rosacea category and check out all of my completey honest rosacea skincare product reviews (complete with before & after photos), discover how I successfully cover a breakout as well as my gentle rosacea make-up removing routine.
Unfortunately there is no cure for rosacea but knowing the (many) triggers + a proper diet and skin care routine can definitely help keep the visible signs of rosacea under control.
Stay tuned for my upcoming rosacea skin care & get my simple rosacea make-up routine right here.
For more information about rosacea visit The National Rosacea Society.