The Early Days


Now, this is going to start with a bit of whine, so brace yourselves. I had lovely skin growing up, a little on the pale side, but always clear, and just the right amount of dewy and freckles. Life was good. I wore make up, of course as most teenage girls do, but confidently could forgo the make-up if I wanted.

Then it changed.

Shortly before my 19th birthday, my dewy skin started to break out and become red and patchy, it started with the very tip of my nose. Always red, and I always seemingly had a “cold”. My Cold lasted four years and countless tubes of foundation, the “cold” excuse became so easy to tell it just rolled off my tongue almost daily. Then my cheeks became redder and then pink and then red again as they would flare up and calm down and it became harder to brush it off as a cold.

Rather than using make up to play with, it became an absolute must. I couldn’t even bare to leave the comfort of my bedroom without make up on.

Between the ages of 19-22 it worsened. Becoming lumpy and post box red and then settling down, and then again a few weeks later I would be back to a red lumpy mess.

Make-up became a shield, I’d apply before leaving the house to go to uni, again on the train, again when I got to uni, in between lectures, before I went home, on the train home and then wait as long as I could before taking it off.

Make-up also became a cause. My skin couldn’t breath, and I couldn’t let it, so my constantly piling on the make-up, it irritated my unstable skin.

I stopped sleeping over at friends’ houses, because the anxiety was just horrendous. I didn’t have an explanation as to why it was so red, my skin wasn’t spotty so it wasn’t acne, yet I layered on the tea tree and other harsh products to make the lumps go away. In fact I was making matters worse.

I stopped letting anyone see me without make-up, the simplest of tasks, as popping to the corner shop, became a mission because it required a full face of make-up. My foundation of choice was Studio Sculpt by MAC. I would turn down parties, days out and cancel last minute on events purely because covering it up became too much of a task.

My constant cold was backed up by regular and planned sniffing of my nose. This was to cover up any redness that would try and creep through my meticulous foundation applying routine, and it did on occasion. My routine would sometimes slip when I would be out to lunch and couldn’t slip away from the table.

Rosacea is a daily battle. It is a bigger battle when you don’t know what you’re fighting. In the UK we don’t have a Dermatologist culture, unless you incredibly lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it). You either see a dermatologist for vanity, or to look to ease or cure a condition of the skin. I do it for both. 

Like any other skin condition it eats away at your confidence, unlike most conditions, Rosacea isn’t widely talked about, and is widely associated with the heavy drinkers, and the 35+. Demystifying something is the first step in not letting it win, I will be publishing a series of posts which will detail my journey from discovery to today. With regular posts and routines which show the good, the bad and the times that I don’t want to leave the house.

This was an insight into how I lived before diagnosis, and this is how many women live because they don’t know what is happening. Sometimes we are too proud to go to the doctor to say “I dislike my skin” when there is so much other stuff going on, people who are sick and need those appointments. Even now having to go to the doctor and request Doxycycline to clear up what topical treatments, or over the counter skincare can’t fix, is mildly humiliating.

Coming up next in the Rosacea chronicles is the day I was diagnosed.


For NHS help with Rosacea, visit, also take a look at the National Rosacea Society.

If you think you may be suffering with Rosacea, please see a doctor, or a dermatologist. 

You Might Also Like