This is a topic that needs to precede the nutrition one, as I promised I will be writing about that next. I have to say very honestly that I have only been to the doctor once since I’ve got rosacea. Basically, the reason I visited is (and I rarely go to the doctors, let alone bother them with something like this), that I wanted a confirmation of my suspicions. It was proven right and I was prescribed a medicated gel.
I have to say that the attitude of the doctor was quite relaxed about this. I was already conscious about my skin (as someone who always had acne), and he was very nice but not too concerned about this issue. Now I get that they have a lot of people that are far worse off medically than I am, but I have to say I missed hearing a few questions. Like for example, the one where you supposed to ask your patient how said condition is affecting their every day life. Or the one where you go into details as to what they might feel emotionally. Also there was no explanation as to the side effects of this medication that I was given. Perhaps because they don’t think that being a topical skin treatment can do much harm to the point of threatening your health or well being. But unfortunately due to the nature of rosacea, this medication has done more harm than good.
I was prescribed Metrogel 0.5%. This is a fairly low dose, but what it’s done to my skin was quite alarming. Prior to visiting the GP, I had mainly redness and pimple like spotty things (don’t know what else to call them:) on my cheeks. My skin was fairly dry but nothing severe. However….as soon as I started using this gel my skin started to get drier pretty quickly. I have only been using it for about a week (once a day, thinly applied), when it got to the point of small visibly little cracks on my cheeks and visibly peeling skin, also tightness that I have never experienced before along with itching. It was very uncomfortable, borderline painful… So I stopped. I remember getting up one morning and looking in the mirror…my skin looked horrible. And I have never said that in my life even though I used to have mild to moderate acne. I was desperate and had a little cry (I rarely cry). The situation was clearly beyond my control at this point and I didn’t know what to do. As I looked around my room for something I could apply to reduce the tightness and discomfort something caught my eye. I used to use a body lotion from a company called Dead Sea Spa Magik. It is a product containing water from the dead sea and a number of other gentle natural ingredients. It has been great for my body but it never occurred to me to put it on my face. Well…desperate times call for desperate measures and I slathered my face in it. Immediately, I felt a cooling sensation and the itching stopped. Throughout the day I didn’t even look in the mirror as I was so upset about the state of my skin. In the evening however when I washed my face I could see that the dryness got better and there were less “cracks”. Surprised, I reapplied this lotion and I went to sleep. The next day my skin looked even better!
This experience has taught me one thing…I’m not going back to the GP. It’s not that I think he is a bad doctor (he was great when it came to treating my scoliosis), but with some issues, their experience might be very limited. I honestly think that with some conditions like rosacea, that are not regarded as serious as for example eczema or psoriasis, it’s not worth going. As it is a condition not very well researched and understood yet, everyone needs to work out through trial and error, what works for them personally and what doesn’t. Doctors are trained to give a specific type of medication to certain conditions and these are often not tested long or properly enough to make sure the benefits outweigh the side effects.The natural components in this lotion got me thinking that maybe the medical route is not the right one and that I will need to seriously look into natural remedies to try and solve this problem.
Looking back on it now, it was the best decision that I could have made.