I grew up and still live in Maine with my family. I've been writing since junior high, and I love writing about health topics.
A Big Red Nose and Rosy Cheeks
About 10 years ago when I was in my late 30s, I started to develop a “big red nose” and redness around my nose. I had no idea what this was, but I figured it had come about as a result of immune system problems and dermatitis I'd previously had. When I did a bit of research about my red cheeks and nose, however, I realized I had rosacea!
It made sense. I was almost 40, had red hair and fair skin, and was female. This meant I was part of the most common demographic to land this "Rudolph nose" and matching rosy cheeks. Wasn’t it enough that I couldn’t tan—I had to have this, too?
Since I hadn’t worn makeup for years, I didn’t even know where to look to cover this up. My skin was so pale that I’d always struggled with “fair” and “ivory” foundations being too dark. And many foundations actually made the condition worse.
bareMinerals Helped Me a Lot!
Fortunately, I found bareMinerals from Bare Escentuals. Although I was very skeptical about trying bareMinerals, as I learned about them on an infomercial, I couldn't argue with the quality of the product. The ingredients were natural and they talked about covering red skin so I tried it. During my flare-ups, using bareMinerals Bisque concealer helps a lot.
This mineral makeup covered my rosacea so well that when I told my doctors that I had it, they didn’t believe me. I would go in the for my next appointment with no makeup just to prove it and they’d be amazed!
There are many more brands of mineral makeup now but be sure to read the ingredient list. Many contain talc and other ingredients that aren't mild on your skin. You will also want zinc oxide to help protect your skin from the sun.
If you are wanting to hide your rosacea, it is worth investing in a good brand. And if you are unsure of what color is best for you, a makeup consultant will be helpful. After all, you are covering up red, but not on your whole face.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition involving swelling of the blood vessels that are just under the skin. Sometimes it accompanies other skin conditions such as acne vulgaris and seborrhea dermatitis.
According to the National Institute for Health, symptoms include:
- Redness on the face
- Face flushing or blushing
- Spidery blood vessels visible on the face
- Redness around the nose with thickening skin
- Burning or stinging in the face
- Acne-like sores
- Irritated, bloodshot, watery eyes
According to the National Rosacea Society, approximately 17 million Americans have this skin condition, but about 78% of them don’t know it.
What Are the Effects of Rosacea?
Since the chronic skin condition is not medically serious, the effects of rosacea are personal and physical.
Loss of self-esteem – I can relate to this one. Having a red cheeks and nose can be embarrassing and over time, it can really affect your self esteem. People with this chronic condition often miss work, find that it affects their job, and even that it keeps them from going out and socializing.
Permanent changes to your appearance – The skin on the nose can become thick and bulbous over time. Yes, this has happened to a certain extent with me too. When the face flushing is very bright and the nose surface becomes bumpy, it is harder to disguise with makeup.
What can you do about Rosacea?
Unfortunately, no one knows what causes it or how to cure it. But there are things you can do to manage it.
- Avoid things like lots of sun, red wine, and other food known to be triggers.
- Don’t use medicines used to get rid of acne. It needs to be treated more gently.
- Choose fragrance-free, gentle skin care and makeup.
- Learn how to cover it up so you won’t suffer from the low self-esteem.
- Talk to your doctor – there are topical antibiotics and other procedures that can help. Although oral antibiotics can help some, there are lots of risks to taking them for long term.
- Manage stress.
- Limit sun exposure - wear a good sunscreen with mild moisturizer.
- Stand away from the grill and hot stove when possible
In my personal experience, managing my stress, my hormones, and eating an anti-inflammatory diet full of real foods, little sugar or gluten, and getting lots of essential nutrients and fats helps a great deal! Any foods or supplements designed to help lessen inflammation will be helpful on many levels. Oh, and the bareMinerals makeup!
My New Treatment: Metronidazole Gel
I've been getting more of the red bumps, the kind that can look like acne on the nose. These bumps are actually the papules and pustules that can eventually do permanent damage to the tissue, leaving the skin thicker, bumpy and the nose larger. It's sometime called W.C. Field's nose.
I decided it was time to try the generic form of Metrogel or metronidazole gel. It is a mild, topical antibiotic and is quite expensive without insurance but a tube seems like it will last for nearly a year.
After washing your face before bed, you simply dab some of the gel on the effected areas. After doing this every night, you might only have to do it a couple times a week once the skin has healed.
I was very happy that within about two weeks, most of the bumps were gone. While my nose is still red before makeup, the surface of the nose has gone back to nearly normal. I'm very happy I tried it!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 17, 2015:
thanks for letting us know about this skin problem, Asian rarely have redness on cheeks and nose. Blemishes are the most
MaryBeth Walz (author) from Maine on December 20, 2014:
Thanks habee, glad I could help!
Holle Abee from Georgia on December 18, 2014:
I don't have rosacea, but hubby does. I'll have him read your great hub! Voted up!
MaryBeth Walz (author) from Maine on April 12, 2012:
Thanks xstatic! I think having a diagnosis and information gives your the proper tools to decide how to live with anything!
Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on April 11, 2012:
Really useful information here. I know this is quite common and unconforable for a variety of reasons as you point out.