Living With Rosacea – More Than Just Skin Deep

Not long after my father died I began to experience rosacea. Not as intense as some rosacea sufferers but it was very noticeable. And as it was mainly one one cheek it did not look like I was blushing but like I had something wrong with my face.
It has felt so embarrassing in the past.

Sometimes it is really red and I get cystic acne over the redness. Not pleasant at all.

My Experience

I think my mother has slight rosacea when she has a glass of wine sometimes, but mine came on not long after my father passed on. I feel the huge stress response manifested as rosacea. In my teens I had acne mainly around my hair line but rosacea was different. The blood vessels were very visible and after a few years I began getting acne on top of the rosacea – so acne rosacea. The acne came and went and came back again over the top. Some days it was worse than others.

For a few years my left cheek was very red and sore to the touch and covered in spots. The sun, alcohol, spicy foods, non-natural sun creams brought it out more. Because of the rosacea I became extra self-conscious socially and whether it was the blood vessels, or I was just more pre-disposed to blushing because of self esteem issues, I blushed a lot and it became very red very quickly.

What Is Rosacea And What Causes It?

I will keep this brief for anyone who already knows this, which you may if you have googled a search for rosacea. Rosacea is basically a skin condition that affects the face and causes a red flushing, facial redness and can include acne. It can also be on the eyes and some people with rosacea can have dry eye syndrome. My mum has and I sometimes get dry eyes. If you suddenly get eye problems related to rosacea I recommend making an appointment with your doctor pronto. 

The spots that come up are rather lumpy and cyst like. Not your usual pimple.  When my skin gets red it can look like I am sun burnt and it can also cause what looks like red blood vessels to appear. In some cases it can cause a thickening of the skin (uncommon)

Some people get rosacea in their 20s but most people get it between 30 and 50. Mine came on around age 27 Women unfortunately are more likely to get it than men.

Rosacea Causes

Now there are many reasons it is said this happens, some of which are not mentioned below. I have my own theory you can read later.

Here are the main reasons medical doctors say it happens:

  • Tiny blood vessels under the affected skin may become abnormal or leaky.
  • Sun damage.
  • A tiny mite called demodex folliculorum may be involved. It lives harmlessly on the skin of many people but has been found in higher numbers in those with rosacea.
  • Abnormal immune reactions in the skin, which lead to inflammation.
  • Genetics may also be involved as rosacea may run in some families.

Sun Cream

woman sunbathing

More recently I have noticed an increase in soreness on my cheeks when using high SPF suncream. I have this feeling that more natural creams are far better for my skin. I would be interested to know your experience?

I know many people say we should stay out of the sun but I am a nature lover and refuse to let this stop me. I also find getting a light base tan in the summer helps a lot. I intend to try more natural sun creams soon and hopefully they have changed since I last used natural sun lotions. The ones I tried a few years ago were so thick and white my face looked ghostly after applying the sun lotion. I also find less greasy lotions are better too.

Sun does increase the redness substantially and so sunbathing is a challenge when on holiday because you leave the beach or sun-bed and get people telling you, you are burnt after only a short time in the sun, or your blushing when your not. This can be quite frustrating.

Rosacea & Embarrassment


You may think I am going to talk about how embarrassing it is to have rosacea but I am not. Instead I have been pondering the reason for rosacea. If you have rosacea I am keen to know if you have had similar experiences to me. 

I found that during times of calm and greater self-confidence the rosacea reduced and rarely flared up. At times when my self confidence and esteem were low it increased. I feel possibly rosacea is a sign of extreme sensitivity to the world. Sensitive in our own skin, sensitive to people, sensitive to criticism and more. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive by the way, but we need to take time out and find ways to accept who we are, and in the long term eventually love who we are. This is part of the process of growing as a person and I feel some childhood experiences as well as the delayed shock of my father’s passing caused a flood of hormones, and caused feelings that had been buried to come to the surface. So much so they came straight to my skin, almost a flashing beacon saying “I am in deep distress here!! Help me”.

During a particularly bad bout of acne rosacea one year I realised my own rosacea was also linked with intimacy issues. A fear of my own feminine power, insecurity in that area and more. After I joined a Five Rhythms dance class where you dance freely and like there is no-one watching, I noticed a change in my skin. So exercise combined with an inner feeling of creative energy flowing naturally through me seemed to make a big difference to my skin and the severity of the rosacea.

What Can Be Done To Manage Rosacea?


Personally I did not go the topical steroids route, but I can understand why some with more severe rosacea would use them. For me, I am taking an inside out approach.

Firstly you need to begin digging, metaphorically speaking. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When did it start?
  2. What was happening at the time in your life when it began?
  3. Did you have any stress or trauma taking place at the time?
  4. Do you have any degree of embarrassment or shame related to your past or your childhood that could be surfacing in your skin?
  5. How do you feel about your own body? Are you confident sensually? Do you self pleasure?
  6. Are you able to express this energy in a creative way? As this creative intimate energy is not just related to human-to-human interaction but also is a highly creative energy, is there anything you used to love doing or always wanted to try or create that you could begin now?
  7. Does the world seem a scary place to you?
If you see a correlation between any of your answers and the onset of rosacea you can then begin to tackle what is underlying it.
One method of dealing with emotional issues is EFT, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique. It is a form of tapping on acupressure points. You tap on areas around the head, face and upper body to clear and balance any blocks or issues in the meridians of the body. It may sound wacky but it helped me cure myself of a extreme phobia to bees and reduced cravings to sugar. It also has enabled me to feel more confident in job interviews, and soothed panic attacks. It is free to do, you simply do it on yourself by following some of the basics HERE or you can also get a more detailed book like THE TAPPING SOLUTION here.
And if you are able to, in the privacy of your own home, do some kind of movement, free uninhibited movement to free any stagnant energy that may be inside you. This may help. Intimate self-pleasure and if you have a partner they can help too. Interesting that the female climax increases flushing to the cheeks, which does make me wonder if this is indeed related  to rosacea. All possibilities. If you are insecure about yourself in this area, try to make peace with your body first.


And lastly, it is good to address any food intolerances. I cut out refined sugar from my diet as blood sugar hikes can affect so many things in the body. Some time after writing this post I discovered acne and grains are not a good combination. So after receiving a diagnosis from the hospital that I had Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) I decided it was important to remove gluten from my diet and milk products. This reduced the acne even more. 
Good luck and please share your own experiences and what has worked for you.
What products calm your rosacea?
What aggravates it?
Do you feel it has an emotional basis?
Thanks for popping by.
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Michael Doherty
    June 10, 2013 / 8:15 am

    This took courage to write and post photos. Well done Kelly.

  2. June 10, 2013 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you, I can only think it is time for a change with my skin and this is the beginning.

  3. dream109
    June 11, 2013 / 7:34 pm

    Great post Kelly, I have a very very slight version of this on my right cheek. I don't get the acne spots, but I have the redness and some red blotches. I love how you're looking into the emotional cause. I will have to have a little think and see what is causing mine. Well done on a very brave and very informative post! x

  4. June 12, 2013 / 3:23 pm

    My youngest son and daughter have eczema, and my son's case is severe. A lot of what you discussed here also applies to eczema. Very well written post. Do you get rosacea on your hands as well? Just recently I've gotten a little patch on my hand. I don't know if it's rosacea or eczema, but it started just a couple of weeks ago with the first heat wave of the season. But rosacea, you said, begins making an appearance during the ages of 30-50, sometimes in the 20s. So now you've got me wondering…

  5. June 12, 2013 / 5:41 pm

    Eczema can be so sore and itchy, my house-mate gets it quite badly in his ears and on his neck. I don't get rosacea on my hands mainly on my cheeks, as far as I know its mainly in the head area rosacea crops up so you may have eczema, but it depends what the skin is like as psoriasis is another challenging skin issue.

    I know with eczema I have a friend who's young daughter gets eczema that may be to do stress-related issues.

  6. June 12, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    Thanks Rach, rosacea can be very minor or full blown. Sometimes after a glass of wine that is not a great wine my cheeks are as rosy and sore as if you have been out on a cold day and come back into the warmth of indoors.

  7. Kisha
    June 15, 2013 / 6:25 pm

    I have rosacea pretty bad and I have recently been researching and looking all over for a solution. I was on oracea for a long time which controlled it for the most part but I recently had to stop taking it and my face went crazy. Anyways, the way I have started to get it under control is with argan oil, TEA TREE OIL and coconut oil. The most important part is the tea tree oil. I am not trying to sell anything I just know what you are going through, if you want you can take a look at my blog where I have been posting everyday as I try new things, I post pictures of my progress everyday too. Good luck!

  8. June 18, 2013 / 12:20 pm

    Hi Kisha, thanks so much for sharing. Something that worked form for a while, especially the acne side of rosacea for me was sage bath by Dr hauschka. I had to stop using it as it was too expensive on my budget but I recommended it to so many customers in the shop I worked in with acne and they all came in thanking me. Something about sage works wonders. So good to hear tea tree is working for you, unfortunately, I only need to be in a room with someone putting tea tree on their skin and my entire face burns up in a hot flushed feeling. I think I have a really sensitive nose. I am trialling a natural product right now over the next 2 weeks and will publish updates on my blog at the end of the trial, so far so good. I will pop over to your blog now.

  9. Anonymous
    November 6, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    Being a rosacea sufferer for over 10 years, I sure know a few things about rosacea and the various treatments available.

    Having tried all types of remedies, including chinese herbal supplements, I was convinced that there was little to actually help my problem.

    I was desperate for answers so I searched everywhere. Books, magazines, the internet.

    There was a lot of misinformation but eventually I found a natural solution.

    In just a few days I noticed a huge difference. My skin is clearer and the flushing has decreased drastically next to nothing.

    You can look at the website that helped me…

    Best of luck!

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