Research has shown that 75% of rosacea and acne sufferers have reported psychological effects such as lowered self-esteem and self-confidence that lead to a reduced quality of life. As a former rosacea sufferer for 27 years, I can deeply relate to this statistic which has led me to write this article from personal experience stressing the importance of seeking medical advice if you feel your are suffering from psychological effects.
My rosacea symptoms started at the beginning of the 1980’s when I was in my late teens. It began with a light redness in the cheeks that became more intense as the day progressed. At first I thought I had contracted some sort of viral infection and tried to forget about it. However, after several weeks I continued to suffer from frequent flushing, which then lead to a permanent red complexion.
At that time little was known about rosacea and the symptoms were considered to be a form of acne and were treated as such with sulphur based remedies. My doctor even recommended hot baths to relieve the symptoms; little did they know that these remedies actually made the condition worse,
After a while I became very self-conscious of my appearance and had to endure the daily jokes such as: “Don’t stand on street corners you might stop the traffic” or “Are you sun burnt again?” Even social occasions or nights down the pub with friends became a challenging event, as I continually found myself searching for the darkest corners to hide my flushed face.
Back in the 80’s there was no Internet so the only source of trying to find a suitable remedy was through books in the library, a quest that proved to be hopeless.
The years passed by and my condition neither worsened or improved, but thread like blood vessels were now visible on my cheeks – which people wrongly presumed to be a result of heavy drinking.
Then in 1999 I experienced Internet for the first time, and to my delight through AltaVista, I discovered a rosacea remedy based on vitamin k. This was apparently used by plastic surgeons to quicken the healing process of plastic surgery. I eagerly applied the créme as per the instructions and checked my face at least 20 times per day, every day to see if there was any sign of improvement. After about 8 weeks my redness had not subsided but to my delight, I did notice that some of the blood vessels had disappeared. However, my excitement quickly turned to misery when blisters started appearing on my cheeks which was a side effect of this créme on sensitive skin; so I had to stop this treatment.
I once again scoured Internet for other suitable remedies and tried most of them which cost a lot of time and money, but none of them worked. My disillusionment grew and my self confidence diminished as the depression caused by my rosacea condition began to take hold. I could no longer hold eye contact with people feeling inadequate, especially at social occasions – little did I know that I was developing symptoms of social phobia.
Now To Treat The Psychological Residue
A few years ago through a skin problem forum eventually found a rosacea solution was recommended by one of the users. I purchased and applied this treatment expecting the same ineffectual results as the ones I had tried. After several weeks my disillusionment was confirmed as I could see no difference in the mirror,
My social phobia symptoms had now reached their peak, I was suffering from deep anxiety as well as frequent panic attacks. My doctor recommended that I seek psychological advice treatment and cognitive therapy at my local hospital, which I did. I was prescribed anti-depressive medications to alleviate the psychological symptoms of anxiety.
My cognitive therapist looked at me with incredulity as if she was disbelieving me as i described my skin problems and the emotional impact they had on my life. My cognitive therapist then used Anorexia as an analogy, at first I did not get her drift. But then, the light suddenly switched on and the reason for this unsual comparison became clear. My long term rosacea condition had caused such deep rooted emotional scars that it prevented me from seeing that my facial redness was actually no longer very prominent.
Within a short while after my first therapy session, I could finally see that she was right – my face was in reality no longer flushed, this Zenmed rosacea treatment had unbelievably worked. My self-confidence and self-esteem grew quickly as my social phobia symptoms quickly diminished.