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I'm Lost- Recently Told I Have Rosacea But Something Isn't Sitting Right...


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#1 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:59 PM

I want to ask some questions without telling my full story because it would be very very long...

 

In short- I joined this site for oily skin. Acne hasn't really been a battle because as long as I use a cream cleanser with SA and 2.5% BP, I'm golden. But I've had a recent breakout and new cysts are popping up. It's causing hyperpigmentation and scarring. I went to an urgent care doctor because I convinced myself that it was some sort of bacterial infection. He took one look at it and said it was acne rosacea. He prescribed me metronidazole gel and I'm seeing improvement, even though I don't think this guy took me seriously. It's so mild but it's persistent and I've been losing my mind. I want to stop it before it erupts into a full blown condition that will cause even more terrible days in the future. 

Note- I've googled and researched for the last 6 days nonstop. So I may have answers to some of these questions, but I would like to hear more from people actually dealing with this. 

 

Here are my questions: 

 

How can you tell the difference between regular acne and rosacea just by looking at it? Aren't there other tests that could be more definitive?

 

I've read about the terrifying demodex mite- if by chance it was the cause, how the hell would these things multiply all of a sudden? What is the treatment for them and is it permanent or will I always have to be on the gel or some other form of treatment?

 

Has anyone ever thought that their tap water might be causing skin issues? I recently moved- and now my hair and the skin on my legs is dry and itchy. Is it crazy to be concerned? 

 

Is rosacea primarily just redness and broken veins?  How and why is it different than acne? I don't think I have the main symptoms. 

 

Can tea tree oil or coconut oil help? I've read that tea tree oil can help kill the bacteria that the mites feed on and that coconut oil can possibly suffocate and kill the mites themselves. Am I off base on this? When they die, will they be purged from my skin? 

 

I read that rosacea affects women in their 30s with fair skin. Yay or nay? Because I am 33 with very fair skin. Is this why this popped up now?

 

I recently started taking herbal supplements to battle oily skin- could this be the cause? 

 

Back in March I tried to go "green" in face care. Nightmare. Allergic to most of the natural products and after 3 months of my skin not adapting, I gave up. I went back to my old routine and my skin starting clearing up immediately, but did I put something in motion with this failed quest? 

 

Will metronidazole work for rosacea and other skin conditions? I don't want to assume that just because it's working, that it's an indication that I have rosacea. 

 

I'm not convinced this is what I have. But that could be because I just don't want this condition. I'm already battling oily skin and it makes me look old and tired, i don't want inflamed cysts on top of that. Also, it gives me the weirds to think that I have monster mites crawling around in my face. yuck. :(

 

Thanks in advance for any and all help/suggestions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 WishClean

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:55 PM

Hey! I answered some of your questions in the text below. I hope it helps. 

I want to ask some questions without telling my full story because it would be very very long...

 

In short- I joined this site for oily skin. Acne hasn't really been a battle because as long as I use a cream cleanser with SA and 2.5% BP, I'm golden. But I've had a recent breakout and new cysts are popping up. It's causing hyperpigmentation and scarring. I went to an urgent care doctor because I convinced myself that it was some sort of bacterial infection. He took one look at it and said it was acne rosacea. He prescribed me metronidazole gel and I'm seeing improvement, even though I don't think this guy took me seriously. It's so mild but it's persistent and I've been losing my mind. I want to stop it before it erupts into a full blown condition that will cause even more terrible days in the future. 

Note- I've googled and researched for the last 6 days nonstop. So I may have answers to some of these questions, but I would like to hear more from people actually dealing with this. 

 

Here are my questions: 

 

How can you tell the difference between regular acne and rosacea just by looking at it? Aren't there other tests that could be more definitive?

Sometimes you can't. I had dermatologists tell me I might get rosacea in my 30s, others told me it's inflammatory acne.....there is no conclusive test. The way to tell is whether your acne responds to rosacea treatments or not. 

 

I've read about the terrifying demodex mite- if by chance it was the cause, how the hell would these things multiply all of a sudden? What is the treatment for them and is it permanent or will I always have to be on the gel or some other form of treatment?

 

Not sure about the mites, but bacteria and fungi respond  to different things. Fungal infections respond to anti-fungal medication and topicals like tea tree oil, whereas bacterial ones respond to antibiotic treatments. I personally use gentle products to manage inflammation, and get high frequency treatments which help with any type of infection. The mite/ bacteria/fungi multiply in moist environments, so make sure to keep your skin's PH balanced.

 

Has anyone ever thought that their tap water might be causing skin issues? I recently moved- and now my hair and the skin on my legs is dry and itchy. Is it crazy to be concerned? 

Check your area's tap water quality (the government is required to disclose information about water purification on the city website. If there is chlorine and fluoride in the water, then you do need to minimize the amount of water that goes on your face because it upsets your skin's PH. I personally use filtered or spring water and my face feels less tight afterwards. I get flareups sometimes if I'm traveling and wash my face with regular tap water (depending on the area). When I was in Boston, the water was so pure that I didn't even need to use a cleanser, that's how I realized how important water quality is when it comes to cleansing the skin.

 

Is rosacea primarily just redness and broken veins?  How and why is it different than acne? I don't think I have the main symptoms. 

 

Can tea tree oil or coconut oil help? I've read that tea tree oil can help kill the bacteria that the mites feed on and that coconut oil can possibly suffocate and kill the mites themselves. Am I off base on this? When they die, will they be purged from my skin? 

 

I read that rosacea affects women in their 30s with fair skin. Yay or nay? Because I am 33 with very fair skin. Is this why this popped up now? 

 

I recently started taking herbal supplements to battle oily skin- could this be the cause? 

 

Back in March I tried to go "green" in face care. Nightmare. Allergic to most of the natural products and after 3 months of my skin not adapting, I gave up. I went back to my old routine and my skin starting clearing up immediately, but did I put something in motion with this failed quest? 

 

Will metronidazole work for rosacea and other skin conditions? I don't want to assume that just because it's working, that it's an indication that I have rosacea. 

 

I'm not convinced this is what I have. But that could be because I just don't want this condition. I'm already battling oily skin and it makes me look old and tired, i don't want inflamed cysts on top of that. Also, it gives me the weirds to think that I have monster mites crawling around in my face. yuck. sad.png

 

Thanks in advance for any and all help/suggestions. 



#3 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:20 AM

Wishclean- thank you, it does help. What products do you use to manage inflammation?
Water- i looked up my city's water report tonight and i wasnt sure i was reading it right. I need to check the fluoride. I didnt even think about that. I just saw that a particular bacteria and lead were not present. I'd actually like to test it myself. Im just wondering if the pipes in my house are rusted over or if something is leaking in through crap pipes. The water came out of the faucet dark brown last week. Its got to at least be causing my itchy dry legs.
Thank you for replying in that fashion with the underlined text. My fav way to communicate. :)

#4 WishClean

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:26 AM

Wishclean- thank you, it does help. What products do you use to manage inflammation?
Water- i looked up my city's water report tonight and i wasnt sure i was reading it right. I need to check the fluoride. I didnt even think about that. I just saw that a particular bacteria and lead were not present. I'd actually like to test it myself. Im just wondering if the pipes in my house are rusted over or if something is leaking in through crap pipes. The water came out of the faucet dark brown last week. Its got to at least be causing my itchy dry legs.
Thank you for replying in that fashion with the underlined text. My fav way to communicate. smile.png

Right now, I'm using Image's ormedic line. They are pretty good at restoring the skin's PH, and are gentle. My esthetician gave me samples because they are expensive, and so far I'm liking their cleanser (which I use with The Max cleanser also by Image) and their bio-peptide cream. I also get high frequency facials, and red/blue light treatments regularly. 

Is your skin doing better? If you are worried about the water quality, you could always use a filter. 



#5 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:47 PM

I don't think (or don't know) if I have skin ph problems but I might pick up those strips and test that. I use a cream cleanser with a ph of between 2.8 and 3.8 and though people tell me I need one with a higher level, my skin won't tolerate it. Too sensitive. 

My skin is doing much better on this gel the doc gave me. I wish my dark spots would fade a little quicker, but at least I'm not getting more cysts. I still don't really know what to believe as far as whether or not I have rosacea, but I guess i can't really worry about it. I found kits to test water at home because I'm still convinced that it's something in the pipes that the city report wouldn't show. I've never had this much skin trouble ever....

 

What is red/blue light treatment? i've heard of it, but know nothing about it. 



#6 Green Gables

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:28 PM

Google rosacea forums. Honestly I'm not sure why acne.org has a rosacea forum because it is a completely different condition, and really beyond the scope of this community. It does mimic acne with its papules / pustules, but it is really not the same thing at all.



#7 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:25 PM

Google rosacea forums. Honestly I'm not sure why acne.org has a rosacea forum because it is a completely different condition, and really beyond the scope of this community. It does mimic acne with its papules / pustules, but it is really not the same thing at all.

Thank you for saying that! This is part of my confusion actually. I've googled rosacea a lot lately and I'm having trouble weeding out incorrect information. I'll try again and if you have any reputable sites to suggest, please do. 

Is this rosacea forum only for people with the redness all over, flushing, blushing and whatnot? I don't have that....



#8 Tom Busby

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:04 PM

Here's a good rosacea forum: http://www.rosaceagr...Forum/index.php

 

If you like any particular product and want to lower the pH, Citric Acid is food grade and cheap.  I add 0.9% Citric Acid to Dove Sensitive Skin body wash and 0.3% to Cetaphil lotion and measure the pH at 3.8 for both products.  Skin has a normal pH of about 5.5 but I've found a pH of 3.8 to 4.3 very helpful.  Citric acid is water soluble, so you can just measure it on a small scale and pour it in. 

 

But don't lower the pH on your shampoo because it will make your hair strawlike. 

 

A pH of 2.8 is very low -- I've tried that and it makes my skin slightly red.

 

Coconut oil for 2-4 weeks treats candida but will rapidly make malassezia much worse, so it's useful as a differential diagnosis. Tea Tree Oil will kill demodex mites in 5 weeks.  These products don't have any other usefulness in my opinion, and there are much better skin products for daily use.

 

The brown water is because they have to backflush the deadends every once in a while.  Your water is probably fine now.  Just my opinion is that it's better to focus on things that can be fixed instead of trying to change the quality of your city's water.


Edited by Tom Busby, 02 September 2013 - 05:05 PM.


#9 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 06:28 PM

Hi Tom, 

Thanks for the link, I don't know where to start on it, but i'll keep reading. I really don't think I have rosacea because I have none of the most popular symptoms. Like facial redness, I have zero...

 

Cleansers- I've used several with higher phs and I end up with problems, especially any that suds up. Tightness, rashes, acne and flaking...it's horrible. But a few days after going back to my old stand by, my face clears up and calms down. I won't make the mistake of switching again. The whole "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" thing truly applies here. I've been using mine for over a decade and I've never dealt with something like this. This breakout came out of nowhere which is why I'm wondering about the water in my building. 

 

I would like to try the tea tree oil, but I'm not sure where to fit it in with my current routine. 

 

The water thing, let me explain-- I know about the flushing. That's a given. But the water in my toilet was brown for days while the water in the shower and sinks eventually returned to the normal color. Obviously I can't change the city's water, that's not the issue. My problem is that since I moved, I have all these skin issues suddenly and the water constantly tastes and smells like bleach, or plastic or something. There is rust everywhere and there is some sort of thick film left on my glasses and sticks to the silverware as well. (I do dishes by hand, hate dishwashers...always have) I have NEVER had issues like this before. I think it's the apt complex I live in, not the actual city water itself. But I don't really know what to do about it. We don't pay the utility for water in my complex and now I'm beginning to wonder why. Any ideas as to what the management might be doing differently regarding this? 



#10 WishClean

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 08:10 PM

Some people are sensitive to citric acid, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend that. I use Image's Ormedic line for balancing my skin's pH, but really any cleanser without SLS (sulfites) that says "balancing" or "restoring" will do. If you do use tea tree oil, remember to balance it with something alkaline (i.e. more gentle). There are some great older threads on this forum on how to balance your PH. And since you already have a cleanser that works for you, stick with it and try not to add anything too harsh to your regimen. If you do decide to add topicals, just make sure you give your skin a break once in a while and use a neutral moisturizer to keep the PH balanced.

As for the water, it sounds like your building might have old pipes....I had that issue in the past, and now I install water filters. They don't filter everything, but at least my skin feels softer when I use filtered or spring water. A couple of years ago, the water pipe connected to my dishwasher got clogged, and I kept washing my dishes in the same dirty water without realizing it at first and ended up getting a mysterious bump on my forehead. I was wondering how I got it, and I was also feeling sick. Finally, I went to the doctor and she said I have an infection, and I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the pipes were clogged and I was using dirty water for over 2 weeks! Now I moved to an area that also has harsh water and old plumbing, so I make sure I use a water softener in my washer and a filter in my shower. 



#11 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 08:34 PM

I have never thought that there might be a ph issue with my skin, though I understand how important it is not to throw it off. Going to pick up strips to test it out and then head to the hardware store to buy a shower filter and see what happens. I don't know how my ph could be off since I use nothing harsh on my face but who knows, maybe something else is triggering it. I would be more comfortable with that being the problem than having rosacea. Can dietary changes or medication change the ph from within? Haven't made any significant changes but maybe there is a link somewhere. 

 

I originally joined this site for oily skin and finally, after all the battles and experimenting (which is why I thought I did this to myself) I found something that works. Simplicity. I now do two things to my face: 1) Wash it and 2) Medicate it. (I've always used BP to prevent acne)

I gave up all the masks, toners, and moisturizers, waited for my skin to adjust and now it's better than ever and I don't have to blot anymore. If you have oily skin, or ever experienced it,  you know this is a huge victory!! After having it be ingrained in my head that I had to have all of these fancy steps in my routine, I finally just forced my skin to adapt to less, and it worked. 

Even though I have sensitive/oily/acne prone/allergy prone/combo skin, I am able to use a low dose of BP with no negative side effects. Can't believe it took this long to find something that actually made a difference in the oil. It's weird to get used to. Now, with this other thing clearing up and learning from you about the shower filter, I think I'm back on my way to having clear skin again, just without the oil slick. 

Letting go of the spf lotion was the toughest for me, but I'm in my 30s now so I have limited exposure. I can't believe that for all these years, I spent all that time and money on dozens of products that maybe I didn't really need (except for the spf, I truly think that's why my skin hasn't really aged). But whatever! At least I got put on the right path after joining this site. It's all just one long process and eventually, a lightbulb goes off. If I can ever get off of BP permanently, I will. Definitely of the "less is more" mindset now. 


Edited by Oilygirl1980, 02 September 2013 - 08:59 PM.


#12 WishClean

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:51 PM

Yeah, most of us are brainwashed into thinking that the more products we use, the better our skin will become. But most products have at least some preservatives and not so healthy ingredients, so we are getting the bad along with the good. A simple skincare routine is the best, provided you find what works best for your skin. Sometimes you might need to switch it up every few months so that your skin won't get used to the routine. I change my cleanser every few months or alternate between 2 cleansers to keep my skin guessing. With BP, your skin can become reliant on it so do some research on the forums on it to get input from other people who use it regularly. I personally avoid it because I'm sensitive to it. 

Let me know how the filter works for you! If you can't fix the plumbing, then that's definitely the next best thing.



#13 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

Oh I know about the BP skin addiction..or at least that's what I call it. :( I have acne prone skin, but generally no one would know it as long as I use it twice a day. But if I try to stop, nightmare. I hate it. I want off of it, but when I tried to ween myself off a few months ago when I tried to "go green" it damaged my skin so badly, I'm actually still dealing with spots left from the acne I got. People say your skin can't get addicted to anything, but I don't believe that at all. I'm def reliant on my cleanser and my BP. 



#14 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:51 PM

So, i finally tested my water. Hardness and akalinity are at the max amount. The ph is 8.5. Which explains a lot. I need to find the test kit for mold though because it's growing on the wall underneath my bathroom sink and also, I had the unfortunate pleasure of finding mold in the little tray I keep my toothbrush in. Disgusting. Now that I've bleached the shit out of my bathroom, I'm hoping that will be a little more under control. 

Wanted to find out if highly alkaline water can damage pipes so after research and talking to my Dad (who is a general contractor and a home inspector-yay!!) I found that it can indeed damage the pipes and reduce efficiency overall. It also causes scaling on fixtures. 

 

I bought a filter for the shower and I could tell a difference immediately. It felt softer on my face. I've already tried to move out of this place once and they wanted my security deposit plus two months notice and two months rent at the end of the notice. Ridiculous. But now, I'm thinking of just making a threat to go to the EPA (luckily, I used to work with someone from there) with what I've found. OR, they can just keep my security deposit and let me out of the lease. It's extreme, but battling these skin problems is making me crazy. I know what I've found isn't deadly or anything, but regardless, the owners are not going to want the EPA anywhere near that place. 

 

Thanks again Tom Busby and Wishclean for all your help!



#15 WishClean

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

Yep, that's pretty common, but most people don't bother testing out the water because their skin isn't sensitive. I use filtered or spring water when I wash my face, and it's made a difference....it even feels better, less harsh. 

Another thing you can do to minimize reactions would be to get an air filter for your place to filter out allergens. At this point, you have to settle for what you can to control the situation until you can move out. 



#16 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:27 PM

You're right. So glad you suggested a filter for the shower. What a difference. I'll have to pick up another air purifier. I have cats so I have one already, but another one would definitely be worth it. Thank you!



#17 WishClean

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:05 PM

You're right. So glad you suggested a filter for the shower. What a difference. I'll have to pick up another air purifier. I have cats so I have one already, but another one would definitely be worth it. Thank you!

Good, I'm glad it helped you. You have to do what you can under the circumstances. Also, if you have ceiling fans, dust them off and let them run every once in a while, and open your windows often to let fresh air in. 
I use filtered shower water when I wash my face, but I wish I could find a small filter for the tap water in my bathroom sink. I haven't been able to find one that I can install myself. 



#18 Clear My Skin

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

This has like nothing to do with your questions but you say you suffer from oily skin... Has the supplements been helping you at all?

#19 Oilygirl1980

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:34 PM

Wishclean- Would any of the Brita or Pur ones work for a bathroom faucet? Those are the only ones I can find. 

 

Clear my Skin- They did actually! Saw palmetto, stinging nettle, black cohosh. I eventually swapped fenugreek for the black cohosh. It wasn't a drastic change by any means, but when you have an oil slick for a face, even a little change is welcomed.I saw none of the negative side effects I read about regarding birth control. 

 

I've read that taking just 3 of them is suitable so I didn't do any more than that. Just in case you need to know the brands I was using were Nature's Bounty for the Saw palmetto and Soloray for the other ones. (Can be found at the Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon, Fruitful Yield..)

 

One tip on the fenugreek- Do not take this if you're trying to lose any weight. I didn't know before I started taking it that it was used back in the day to "plump" women up before they got married. My boobs got bigger, (which will happen on these herbs) but so did the rest of me. Though this is a bonus for me personally because I'm extremely underweight. It makes me crave a lot of carbs. :)

 

In the end, the biggest reduction I saw in oil was to stop using a ton of products. Just facewash and acne med. Now that fall and winter are coming, I've started using a little rose hip seed oil on the parts that tend to flake. I miss my toner and the clay mask but I honestly just don't need them anymore. But give the supplements a shot, start out small and check for any allergies and see how it goes!



#20 WishClean

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:15 PM

yeah brita or pur will work. I personally prefer brita to pur. But in any case, none of those filters you can find in stores filters our fluoride. Mine doesn't either, but I figured if it filters out other stuff like bacteria and chlorine, then at least I'll only have fluoride to worry about.






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