Because it was so early onset, I was misdiagnosed for several years, trying tretinoin ointment and other drugs for adult acne that actually irritated the rosacea. By the time I turned 40, my face looked like a bright red orange peel with bumps, rough skin, and permanent flushing. I don't have any photos of it, for obvious reasons.
Around then, the ads started hitting the magazines for Metrogel, a new treatment for rosacea. I recognized my condition in those pictures immediately. I went and showed the ad to my doctor who agreed to prescribe this new medicine.
Now that I had a name for this irritating skin condition I started researching it. I also saw photos that made me realize that I had inherited it from my grandfather. (The swollen nose and rough skin were a tip off.)
I also learned that "acne rosacea has no known cause" and that there there is a genetic predisposition in that people in familes tend to be susceptible to it or not. "It also has no known cure, though it an be successfully treated with long term use of antibiotics."
Hmmm. I wasn't keen on long term antibiotics, but I kept a tube of gel around to treat really bad outbreaks and just accepted that my skin was never going to be beautiful again. (Ironically, the people most susceptible to this condition tend to have very bright, clear, pale skin in their youth. Yeah. I once had great skin. Oh well.)
A year or so ago, I started seeing Dr Sickels, a holistic physician.
Rosacea was not particularly on my mind since I knew that it was incurable and aside from vanity there are few dire side effects or outcomes, but when he asked whether there was anything else he could help with, I mentioned it offhand
"well, no. Not unless you know a cure for rosacea".As it happens, he does. Well, not a definite cure, but in many people, rosacea is linked to asymptomatic h-pylori bacterial infection. He tested me and I was riddled with the stuff, so I agreed to give it a try. For what seemed like months but was probably ten days, I took a witches brew of medications called "the ulcer protocol."
Within a few weeks after I finished, my face started to clear up, leaving only broken capillaries to tell the tale. Success! I started treating the broken capillaries with liquid iodine, and they too started to fade!
Over the course of the year, the flushing has started to return. Nothing alarming yet, but worth mentioning since we know where this leads. Dr Sickels has started me on a regimen to re-acidify my stomach so that my body can handle the h-pylori bugs on its own. I am hoping to stop the flushing in its tracks again, and get the worst of the broken blood vessels reduced. My skin will perhaps never be as smooth and clear as it once was, but if I can stop the damage in its tracks and not have the rough red bumps that's good enough for me.
So...if you have rosacea, and you've been told there is no cure, know that your doctor may be mistaken. For some people, getting asymptomatic h-pylori bacterial infection under control may be all the cure you need.
See a holistic physician for help. If he doesn't know what you're talking about, have him call Dr Sickels. (Or if you can, just see Dr Sickels in the first place.)
Edited to add: I have not had 100% success with the betaine treatment, probably because I use it more sporadicly than I should -- and because I get VERY red if I ingest corn products. However I have found a skin treatment of coconut oil with chamomile, Helichrysum, and lavender essential oils added takes the red down ion a day or two. No more antibiotics! :)