Dec 13 2013

Living with Rosacea and Eczema

I’ve written about my life with rosacea in the past (photos are missing, fyi). I’ve reviewed redness relief and calming skincare and makeup in the past, too.

But my skin has really hit a rough patch lately, literally and figuratively, and I thought I’d share with you what’s going on and how I’m handling it. Because as a beauty blogger, I’m constantly taking photos of my face, and I’ve tried not to let this interfere with my self confidence but at its worst, I felt very, very self conscious about it.

Wedding and honeymoon!

So this was me, on my wedding day, before I put on my makeup, at the salon having just had my hair done!

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My face is a bit red, right?! Cheeks are flushed. I’ve been having consistent issues with red bumps on my nose that I have trouble covering with foundation. I’d also been having on-and-off issues with some rough, dry, flaky patches that were popping up all over my face randomly, some getting big, some resolving. My family doctor said I had psoriasis and prescribed a cream that I used when I needed to get rid of the spots.

I felt happy with the wedding makeup I did for myself, though! Here;s one of our professional pics!

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Reminds me…I should probably post about my wedding nails…and post about my wedding in general!!

Anyway. Then I went on my honeymoon. Admittedly, I ate a very different diet than I normally do. I ate foods rich in fat and sugars – eating more breads and grains than normal – and I drank more alcohol than usual. By the middle of the honeymoon, this is what my face looked like…please excuse the lighting, I took them in the resort bathroom:

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I was crushed. I wanted to wear no makeup that day, to give my face some air and healing time, but I also felt so ugly – and it HURT – that I put a minimal face on, some foundation and powder, a little blush and a lippie, and tried to forget about it so I could enjoy our day in Disney World. Here’s what I looked like after:

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I still felt like everywhere I went, people were staring at the marks on my face, because while makeup covered the red, it didn’t cover the scaliness of the patches, and I was constantly itching them, and wearing off the makeup by late morning.

When we returned from our honeymoon, I slowly returned to eating per Medifast, trying to shake off the few pounds I gained over wedding and honeymoon, but my face didn’t get any better. I made an appointment with the dermatologist.

He said it’d be hard to pinpoint what the trigger of this is, but it’s not psoriasis, it’s eczema, which can often go hand-in-hand with rosacea. He said it could be wheat. It could be me walking into a room where someone has a certain perfume on – my skin is super sensitive.

He prescribed me a 30-day course of antibiotics to calm the inflammation of my skin, and a cream to help reduce the eczema call Elidel.

He also removed the largest spot from my cheek, which he said was precancerous. He froze it off. It hurt, but it was a weird sensation and not as bad, to me, as getting a needle!

I took this photo a few days later:


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You can see I’m healing and getting better. Sometimes, the patches still itch. And right now the eczema is worst on my upper lip. I hide it SO well with lipstick!!! I have still been doing lip of the day photos on Instagram, I can’t believe I’m able to. Sometimes, my upper lip just vibrates with pain. I’m having a hard time getting rid of it there.

My face is definitely starting to calm down with the continued use of the antibiotics, I’m about halfway through now. I feel like I’m on the mend.

I wanted to share this journey with you because I know I’m not the only one with these struggles. This is a photo of me from Thursday:

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The spot my derm removed is still red but I’m able to hide the imperfections of the other spots (until they itch, which they still do, on occasion! Itching them means I get flakes and you can see them easier)

While I’m on the mend, I’m very grateful for makeup to help me feel my best. While I don’t feel unconfident, if I didn’t have makeup to experiment with and enjoy, I think I would feel a little less confident in the face I put forward everyday. Even though at my worst, makeup didn’t make a difference because I felt you could see my issues right through it, I have taken the time to do my eye makeup the majority of days in the last week, because I enjoy applying it, being creative, and it made me happy! And my foundation/BB creams have helped me feel balanced.

Do you suffer from rosacea and/or eczema? Do you struggle with the same issues and do you find solace in the creativity of a new face-of-the-day?! I’d love to hear what helps you manage your self confidence and keeps you sane!

  • M

    What kind of makeup do you use?? 🙂 I am 26 years from Scandinavia and I have Rosacea and adult acne. Have been searching in years for makeup that I can use on my super sensitive skin, but i can’t find any :/ Right now I have begun with Exuviance skin care and I hope it will help me to calm down the redness..

    I think you are beautiful both with and without makeup :):)

  • Kendra Stanton

    Wow, you look great regardless. I use to have sever acne and it was really hard on I can relate. So thankful for makeup.

  • Harshleen

    Thanks for sharing your story! I can understand your frustration and pain. I have been struggling with acne for more than a year now (never had the problem even in my teens) and finally started using a prescription ointment recently which seems to have helped a bit. Btw you looked so beautiful on your wedding day!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you, Harshleen! I’m also glad you found something that is helping, too!!!

  • gafromca

    My sister tried everything for rosacea and found azelaic acid was the best medication for her. But I know it took a lot of trial and error. For cleanser/moisturizer she would use one product line on one side of her face and a different one on the other side. A lot of work, but that way she could see whether the difference was from the product or other factors.

    • BeautyJudy

      Wow! That’s a lot of dedication and it sounds like she is so knowledgable about her skin disease by taking the time to do these things. I hope she has found things that work for her and is doing ok! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Casey @ Beauty 101

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this right now!! I’ve been going through the same thing with my acne so I went to the derm last week and was told that my acne might be caused from eczema… who knew?! We’re not treating the eczema yet since she wanted to see if it was hormonal first. In the meantime I’ve been put on antibiotics and now I’m using some products specifically designed for sensitive skin/rosacea/ezcema/etc. So far so good! I’ll be interested to see how my skin looks after this round of antibiotics, though.

    • BeautyJudy

      I hope the antibiotics help!!! Maybe knowing the root cause will really help clear your skin up! You are beautiful, regardless!!!

      • Casey @ Beauty 101

        Aw, thank you. You are, too!

        PS – I can’t wait to read more about your wedding!

  • Sheila Arkee

    Thank you for sharing your story – I (and so many others) can definitely relate. Your wedding pic is lovely – can’t wait to see more!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you, Sheila!!!

  • Brooke @ Blushing Noir

    I’m SO GLAD they found the pre-cancerous spot and removed it before it developed! My daughter has extremely sensitive skin so I really appreciate posts like this so I can help her as she grows up. So far it hasn’t traveled to her face, but we have to put a prescription ointment all over her body every night or she gets dry, itchy patches =(

    • BeautyJudy

      Aw! Brooke it sounds like you’re doing great by her!!! I hope it doesn’t get to her face. And yes, I was surprised at the precancerous spot but happy to have it gone!!!

  • Angela Sherman

    I can relate Judy! I have eczema and rosacea, which is why I’m super hesitant to try new skincare products. One application can make me red for weeks! And can I just say you looked beautiful on your wedding day! Your makeup was amazing!!!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you Angela! And yes!! I’m no longer going to review skincare products. If I do it will be on a very special case-by-case basis because even “rednessl and sensitive skin products are not a good companion for my skin!

      • Angela Sherman

        Agreed! If you have any favorites, please let me know. Right now I use all extremely gentle products like Cerave. I also like It Cosmetics.

  • Farryn

    I can really relate to this as I have perioral dermatitis and am not allowed to wear makeup, but I have to because otherwise I would scare people away!! It’s a constant struggle so I’m glad you’ve found a good products to help!

    • BeautyJudy

      Wow Farryn! I’m glad you found products as well; I understand how you want to wear makeup, too, hope your skin is calmer right now!

  • Phyrra

    I feel your pain. I struggle with my rosacea. I have eczema, but only on my ankles. I think I also have it at the outer corner of my eyes sometimes, when they get irritated.
    There are 2 foundations I can wear when I’m struggling. Cover FX CC Cream and It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation.

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks, Phyrra! Us pale girls have all the fun!!! lol I love It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation!!! I have heard great things about Cover FX – I may need to try that one as well.

  • Miranda Mendoza

    I struggle with eczema but luckily not on my face. Thank you for sharing your story, you look so lovely!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks, Miranda!

  • Pammy Blogs Beauty

    (((HUGS)))! You are so brave to share your story and your photos! I know you are helping many people out there that suffer with Rosacea and Eczema. Honestly, I knew that those conditions caused redness and flaking. However, I did not know that there was itching and pain that went along with it. So, you certainly educated me about these conditions as well. I can totally related to you about envirnomental triggers as I have allergies and chemical sensitivities. I am extremely allergic to scented laundry detergent and literally have trouble walking down the asile at grocery stores and need to bring my own pillow cases on vacations or I will itch like crazy. It is so hard to pinpoint environmental triggers. Thanks again for sharing! You look beautiful in your photos despite any redness! Remember, people can be their own worst critics! Even on a “bad day” for your skin, I am sure other people are not noticing it as much as you think that they do. 🙂

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you so much, Pammy! That’s why I did this, I know how good it makes me feel to know other people struggle with these things, to know I’m not alone! I was surprised how these spots, especially the large one and the ones on my cheek, felt raw and hurt to touch. I am so glad my face is on the mend now. Thank you for your comment, Pammy XO

  • Anastasia

    Thank you for sharing your story. My mom is battling rosacea, too, so just from watching her struggles, I understand how you must have felt. I think you look wonderful, and your wedding picture is simply stunning!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you, Anastasia! I wish your mother good luck, I hope she finds a treatment that works and helps her feel more herself when she looks in the mirror. XO