Wendy Knuth Author of Moore Zombies, blogging about the human experience.

Tag Archives: #awriterslife

How To Cure Rosacea – You Can’t – But This Will Help!

This is the story of my ongoing battle with rosacea, including no-no’s, tips and tricks, and my before and after pictures.

Here is my “before” picture of me with rosacea, and without any makeup. This picture was taken recently when my rosacea was at its worst ever. I almost never went out in public like this. People did double takes on me. “Wow, you got really sunburned!” is what I hear and translate as, “Wow, you are really ugly!” Um, yeah, thanks.

Rosacea Before

Rosacea Before

My rosacea started in my 30’s. You can read stories online of people who have rosacea and how the awful redness, blotchiness, and pimples are nothing compared to the true and ultimate horror of growing the bulbous nose. W.C. Fields is often given as a prime example.

Here are some links to pictures from the National Rosacea Society:
https://www.rosacea.org/patients/allaboutrosacea.php
This one shows a couple of bulbous noses: https://www.rosacea.org/patients/faces.php

One trick I learned was to use a cover-up stick ALL OVER my face, not just over small problem areas, and then apply liquid base (you may call it foundation), and finally powder. It works pretty well, but feels heavy and I don’t like having this on my face for long hours at work.
Another trick I tried was to get sunburned. My face will peel and I will have a fresh set of skin, or I will tan over. Nope – don’t do it. You will only look like a nuclear bomb went off in the immediate vicinity.

Yet another trick I discovered was the green tinted makeup. Not Halloween makeup! It is very hard to find. You have to search grocery stores, drug stores, and the likes of Kmart or Walmart and you might find one item. I never found a green tinted base, but I did find a green tinted cover-up stick, and I applied my regular base and powder over this. The idea is that green and red make brown/tan. I thought I looked okay, but my husband told me I looked sick, literally green around the gills. But, I have tried this off and on over the years.

To give you an idea of green makeup and what I am talking about, I am including Amazon affiliate links if you are interested in giving green makeup a try. Perhaps you are better with makeup than I am.

Green Cover-Up Stick

Green Concealer

So finally, I went to a dermatologist. Cureable? No. What to avoid: Stress, coffee, caffeinated beverages, sun, wind, alcohol, spicy food, hot showers, hot tubs, hot baths. Bummer – I like all of those things, except for stress.

I was prescribed metrogel as a remedy. It is a gel you apply to your face. I can’t say I noticed a huge difference. But by today’s standards, my rosacea was still in its infancy so perhaps it worked better than I thought, or at least kept it from getting worse. I’m not sure.

I don’t recall how much the metrogel costs, but you do need a prescription for it. Here is a link to their site: https://www.metrogel.com/

At some point I ran out of metrogel and got sick of going to the dermatologist. So a few years pass and my face continues to redden. Back to the dermatologist who now recommended I get my face lasered.

The laser dermatologist recommended I do one side of my face so that I could see if it made a difference. I wish I had taken pictures. It is said that the laser feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin, but I say it feels like being sandblasted one small area at a time. You end up with a throbbing, aching pain, the kind of pain where you feel each heartbeat in your face. The pain goes away within half an hour or so. Ironically, you are left with a very red, sometimes bruised face. My doc admitted after seeing some dark, purple bruising, that the laser was “up too high” and he turned it down.

I was glad he suggested doing one cheek, because I did notice a difference, but probably wouldn’t have if he had done both cheeks.

The next treatment included both cheeks. I wised up and asked about my Rudolph nose. I thought I had one face, but in the dermatology world, you actually have two cheeks, one nose, one chin, and one forehead, all priced differently. I HATE that!!!! By the way, laser to the nose really, really, REALLY hurts!

I ended up doing the laser treatments 3 or 4 times and my cheeks are still lopsided to this day, but you can’t tell by looking. Laser is not covered by insurance and I found it to be too time consuming (long drive to the big city) and honestly I didn’t have the funds to be this vain. I want to say it was around $140 per cheek? I can’t quite remember, except that it was expensive. However, at the time I thought this was a permanent or at least a long lasting solution. It did make a big difference. I actually could and would go out in public without any makeup, and nobody looked twice or said anything. Unfortunately, this only lasted about 1-2 years.

After some time, and disgust, I thought I would try a new dermatologist. Said new doc was also a newbie doc. He recommended a sulfur cream. Unfortunately I don’t recall the prescription name, but I do recall smelling like sulfur all day, as well as smelling sulfur all day – it burned my nostrils. If it had worked, I would still reek of sulfur to this day.

Years and years pass. My face has become horribly, blotchy red, and now, the pimples . . . so superficial that they come off easily with a scrape of the fingernail. I went back to the first dermatologist. I arrive without makeup and see not only other patients doing a double take on me, but the receptionist herself. The doc took one look at me and said, “You’re a disaster! We can’t have you walking around looking like that!” I agreed.

Luckily, times had changed. He prescribed Soolantra twice daily and Doxycycline once daily. I’m not sure about the theory behind the antibiotic, but it is a low dose antibiotic, not something you would take for a typical infection. The difference was huge. It took about two weeks for me to see great results. I do have insurance so each visit cost me a $35 copay. The doxy was a couple of dollars, and one tube of Soolantra cost $60, which lasted around 3 weeks using it twice daily.

Rosacea Meds That Made A Difference For Me

Rosacea Meds That Made A Difference For Me

After some time, I saw my doc again and he wanted me to stop the pills and do the cream once daily. My “after” pic you see actually looks a pinch worse than when I was at my best with the full initial treatment.

So here are the results, before and after.

Rosacea Before

Rosacea Before

Rosacea After

Rosacea After

Funny enough, when I look at the “after” pic I think I don’t look so great, but in comparison to the before pic, I think, “Much Better!” Perhaps now that I know how bad it can get, I have lowered my standards and am more accepting of my “after” pic look. Maybe I will try some green makeup again.

If you suffer from rosacea, I hope this post helps you see that there is help. Please see a dermatologist. As an endnote, I would like to say I realize that people are suffering from much worse. The bigger lesson learned is to please think twice before you say things to strangers in public.

Wendy Knuth
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Thanksgiving – My Family’s Tradition of “Boo”

I blogged a pinch about this last year, but this is a much more in depth blog about the boo subject.  Here goes:

Every time I see a contest for a Thanksgiving story, I think of my grandmother who has long since passed away.  My family has an interesting tradition that stems from a Thanksgiving dinner many, many years ago.  We say “boo” after a good meal.  A good meal means that someone actually put some effort into cooking.  One might say “boo” after a meal they did not enjoy in a show of respect for the chef, however, one would certainly not say “boo” after a fast food meal.  Back in the day, there was no such thing as fast food as far as today’s meaning of the phrase.

The tradition started before I was born.  I have heard the origination story so many times that I feel as if I were there.  I was not.  Now that I think about, I have only ever heard the story from my mother’s perspective.  Yet, I was there for meals with my grandmother and family when we all said “boo” afterwards.  Only now do I wish I had heard perhaps a truer, closer to the source version from my grandmother’s own mouth.

I wrote a wonderful piece on the subject from my grandmother’s point of view.  Envision the daily life of a young mother in the 1950’s and all the differences between then and now, and all the similarities between then and now.  I can picture my mother as a young child at the time, who could not even fathom her own grandchildren as she knows them today who live to carry on this tradition, much in the same way that my children can’t hardly imagine their own children yet to come, let alone grandchildren who perhaps will say “boo” one day after a home cooked meal, maybe a Thanksgiving meal.

As I introduce you to the slightly more dramatic version of this tale, I hope you think of your family’s past, present, and future, and revel in your own family traditions!  Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy. . .

 

Listen To What I Hear

Pay attention.  Listen to what I hear.  I took pride in my craft.  I slaved all day with no help, no offers of help.  I expressed my affection through my work.  My loved ones gathered around, and took part in this, the most intimate of family traditions, a holiday known most for family gatherings and for a day of thanks.  No compliments were heard, no thanks, no giving on anyone’s part but mine.  I was waiting, just waiting for even the smallest something.

As the last family member left the table, save for myself, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was ired by their rudeness.  I heard a voice coming from myself expressing in a disappointed and loud voice the same words I was feeling: “I worked hard all day for this fine meal before you and no one even said boo!”

My family was just as shocked by my reaction as I was by their non-reaction.  The children eyed each other, eyed me, and then eyed their father nervously.  My husband, at first, looked surprised.  His perplexed expression relaxed, and slowly turned to adorement.  A faint smile slowly crept upon his face.  He then said “boo” in the nicest, most loving way.  My children giggled in the moment and also said “boo”, each in turn.

It was the smallest something.  But really it was greater than that.  From resentment and compassion was born this family tradition:  A gift of folklore to the family, from the family, for the family.  My legacy?  Perhaps.  I am no longer here, and yet, this old soul lives on. Boo. It is what you would expect this old ghost to say, but it is what I hear.

Wendy Knuth, author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books.  MooreZombies.com