About Me

I'm Kelli ... and I'm a rosacean. (Hi Kelli!)

Right now, I'm a 26 year old mother of a very rambunctious 2 year old named Jack, and I'm the wife of a wonderful man, named Kevin. Kevin and I have been together for about 5 years, and we'll be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary in December. Professionally, I am a graphic artist for a non-profit organization. Basically, I get to draw pictures all day for a living! I am also trying to finish up my degree in Marketing by attending school online. I'm about halfway through, so wish me luck!

My Rosacea Background -

When I was about 11 years old, I started getting a rash around my chin. My family thought it was just acne, and started buying me some cleansers to use to help clear it up. It kept getting worse. At that same time, my eye sight started going, and my teeth decided to travel into different directions of their own, so I got braces and glasses.

Here I was - a painfully shy little girl going into the 6th grade. In my city, this was Middle School. I was out of grade school and into a BIG school. Now, add onto that braces and glasses. Big pink ones! And then add in straight hair that had been fried by a horrible perm. Then, just to kick me while I'm down - give me a rash on my chin.

During this time, there was a Clearasil commercial that was on TV that was to the tune of the old 50s or 60s song "Da-Du-Run-Run-Run" (Ok, I can't find the lyrics to find the name of the song, but that's the main part of the chorus). The commercial had a girl fretting about her date and she has a pimple. She's singing, "I got a date on Friday / And his name is Bill/Da-Do-Run-Run-Run/Da-Do-Run-Run." A guy in my classes would stand at the end of the hallway during class change and shout, "Kelli's got a date on Friday / And his name is Bill/Da-Do-Run-Run-Run/Da-Do-Run-Run." People would turn and start laughing at me, because everyone had seen this commercial.

Then there was MacKinsie. Yes, I remember last names, too, but I'll not mention them here. MacKinsie was one of the popular girls. She was a cheerleader, and was friends with everyone. I walked into the locker room after gym one day to get changed, and there she was with her friends standing in my way to get to my locker. She looked at her friends, then looked back at me and asked, "Why do you look that way?" With complete disgust and contempt in her voice. She saw me go beat red and turned and walked away.

Finally, my parents took me to a dermatologist who looked at me and was surprised. She said that what I had people normally don't get at my age. I don't remember her saying rosacea, but she said it was similar to acne, but different. She gave me two different topicals that I used for a while, and it went away completely. To this day, I can't remember what she gave me. It wasn't Metrogel that gets used now. It was much more liquid, but it cleared me up so well, I didn't break out for another 10 years.

My "official" rosacea diagnoses ...

I believe this was in 2001. I was having problems for a while before I finally went to the dermatologist. He walked in and asked me a few questions, and everytime he described something, I said yes. Then he said that I have this thing called rosacea. I felt vindicated! I wasn't a freak! This was real, and it had a name. And could potentially cure me of blushing. Yes, this was my naive thinking as I was leaving the Dr.s office with my Metrolotion and antibiotics in hand.

These actually cleared me up for a bit. I went before my wedding, and as you can see in my wedding photo in my gallery, I was clear (But also had a LOT of makeup on that day). It all helped for a while. But, stress hit in. I was married, building a house, wanting to start a family with my husband, and just really experiencing normal growing pains of life.

In September 2002, I suffered a miscarriage of our baby. This was the beginning of the end for me emotionally. I've always had problems with emotions, but this sent me over the edge. No, I wasn't a blubbering crying machine. I went opposite. I pulled everything inside and still refuse to show emotion to anyone. Even my husband. It was my coping mechanism.

After that, my rosacea got progressively worse. I got pregnant in December 2002, and was put on progesterone to help prevent another miscarriage. I was also taken off all topicals and antibiotics. This was when I REALLY started breaking out. The hormones from pregnancy, as well as the stress of having a baby AND not losing it, and then the progesterone added in was just too much for me. I was a red swollen face for 9 months. Since then, I've gotten worse.

I'll back track and say that I went to a number of dermatologists in the 2 years between getting diagnosed and getting pregnant. My original Dr. moved out of the metroplex, so I bounced to a few different ones. My most memorable Dr. was Dr. Brown in Dallas. He first off put me on sulfur washes, which irritate my skin and make me sick. Then he did two different treatments of dry-ice application to my skin. No matter how many questions I asked, no one could explain why it was a good thing to be putting dry-ice to my face. When the person applying it has to wear gloves just to handle it, doesn't that make you think that it may not be a good thing to be putting on any skin? I was also told by this Dr. that my skin is really good, that people my age are always obssessed with our skin and that I just needed to deal with the fact that I would eventually be covered in red spots all over my body. See why I never went back?

Then I had another Dr. that I just wasn't comfortable around. She was the first to tell me about Accutane. She guaranteed it would clear me up, but since I was pregnant at the time, I couldn't take it.

My rosacea normally stayed around my chin and nose area. Around March/April of 2005, it started going to my cheeks. I started noticing them on my forehead and getting closer to my eyes. This was when I found Dr. Nase's book and read it cover to cover. I also emailed him and got a canned response that he'd help me another time. Never heard back from that email, I think. But, I did find the Yahoo groups from his book. I went there, then found many other websites from there. After reading many posts about it, reading Dr. Nase's book, and getting recommendations from Dr. Nase on these boards, I decided to try IPL. I found a Dr. in my area that came highly recommended. She said that they should help me out tremendously.

After my first session, I got up from the table thinking I'd see some clearance of some sort. Nothing but more redness and irritation. Went back 3 weeks later - same thing - except more redness and irritation. 3rd session the same. 4th session the same, but add more pain. 5th and final session was agony. I had swelling on my cheeks. There were places that I could push on and literally 15-20 streams of puss would come oozing out. And I had to do this everynight, or I couldn't sleep with the pressure on my face.

If I answered a phone, I would be in agony, because the receiver would hit my chin. I couldn't kiss my husband anymore, because he has facial hair and it hurt like hell. I would make up excuses to not go anywhere - even just to work. I was in a perpetually bad mood about everything. I couldn't cry about it, though. I don't cry.

And this was just 2 months ago.

I am now on Accutane which has been a life saver for me. I'm taking 10mg everynight. I no longer have the swelling on my face. See my gallery to see what I looked like before accutane and now. I have very few spots. I have small breakouts with my hormones, but nothing like what I did have.

I'm continuing for now with the Accutane. I might have to fight to stay on it, because it seems that I've been having migraines since getting on it, but we'll see if we can do something about that to get me into full remission.

I kept telling myself that there HAS to be some way to fix this. I can't just live my life looking like a freak show. I just had to find what MY help was.

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