Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rosacea case study: Suzanne

Suzanne was diagnosed with rosacea over five years ago. Her dermatologist has her on a program of MetroCream®, which is a topical medication, and the oral antibiotic tetracycline. She has tried to go off each medication separately, but whenever she does, the rosacea returns almost worse than before. She called to ask me where in her skin care program should she apply her MetroCream—before or after her moisturizer?

Whenever you are incorporating topical medications into your regular skin care regime, you want to get the medication on your skin first before you put your moisturizing cream on. If you put the medication over your moisturizer, it will have less contact with your actual skin. So the order of Suzanne’s product application would be:
  • Cleanse with her regular milky cleanser
  • Apply MetroCream and let it settle on her skin
  • Next, use her spray-on toner
  • And finally apply her moisturizer last 
  • If she is going to be outside, sunscreen is a must due to her rosacea, which goes on over her moisturizer (or, for oilier skins, sunscreen can be your moisturizer for day) 

I wondered why Suzanne had been on an tetracycline for five years. She did question her doctor about the long-term use of this medication, and he told her it was OK to take these low-dose antibiotics even over a long period of time. My question to the doctor is how long can or should she take them? Forever? Was the dermatologist ever going to end Suzanne’s use of tetracycline? In the meantime, I highly recommended she start taking acidophilus to help her colon increase the healthy bacteria that had no doubt been affected from all those years of oral antibiotics.

I asked Suzanne if she knew her triggers (the foods and lifestyle habits) that caused her rosacea to flareup. She said, “Hot and cold, right?” Yes, extremes in temperature definitely exacerbate any redness in the skin and especially rosacea. But there is so much more to know about what causes your own rosacea to pronounce itself. I felt that if she could educate herself a bit more, she might be able to lessen the rosacea and potentially go off the oral antibiotics.

I encouraged her to read Rosacea: Your Self-Help Guide. There are several books on the subject, but this is the one I found most helpful. I asked Suzanne to stay in touch so I could track her progress and find out if she discovered anything new from reading the rosacea book.

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