Rosacea, Healing & Self-Love – Becca's Story

Rosacea, Healing & Self-Love – Becca's Story
For thousands of people across the UK and for millions more worldwide, rosacea is a real and present part of day-to-day life. It can make us feel embarrassed, shy and (the worst lie of all) ugly. Nobody should have to go through life feeling this way but, unfortunately, there isn’t an out-and-out cure for rosacea, leaving those who struggle with it in a bit of a pickle. If you can’t get rid of the condition itself, then the next best thing is to demystify the atmosphere around it and re-shape perceptions of the condition, dispelling common misconceptions and educating those around us. Becca (@becca.l.d on Instagram) has bravely and graciously agreed to talk to us about how she deals with rosacea, how it has affected her, mentally and physically, and how she defiantly promotes awareness, without shame holding her down.

When did you start seeing the symptoms of rosacea? Which symptoms are most prominent in your skin?

"I started to see symptoms when I delivered my son 10 years ago. He was born by emergency c-section and was extremely poorly. The stress on my body was just too much. My skin was extremely red and angry."

It can be extremely difficult to discern whether the symptoms you’re experiencing are indeed rosacea or just a mild redness of the skin, due to cold or whatever else. Even when you do think that what you’re experiencing is rosacea, it can still feel silly to go to your GP. “It’s just a bit of redness, right?” Don’t feel embarrassed, or silly. Get the treatment and have the conversations that you need to have.

Did you seek to get a diagnosis? Was that difficult?

"It took me 5-6 years to get a diagnosis as my GP at the time had no idea what it was and just kept prescribing different antibiotics that never worked. I saw several different doctors and 3 different dermatologist suntil I was finally diagnosed. All this definitely didn’t help my skin or my mental health."

Rosacea can manifest very prominently and visibly, meaning that it can have a heavy impact on day-to-day life. Once it flares up, a red face can be difficult not to see. This knowledge can harm self-confidence, lessen self-esteem and damage mental health. That’s why it’s so important to learn to love yourself and your skin.

How does having rosacea impact your everyday life? Has your rosacea caused you to feel self-conscious?

"When I was at my worst, there were days when I wouldn’t leave my house. I would cancel plans, ring in sick to work; I just didn’t want people to see me. My confidence and self-esteem hit rock bottom. Rosacea in its physical form started to have a really negative impact on my mental health."

Do people ever make comments or give unwanted advice?

"Yes! For the most part people's comments and ‘advice’ were coming from a place of good intention but some people spoke to me like I was stupid and that I couldn’t see or feel what was happening to my skin. They assume that you’re not trying to help yourself and you’re actually making it worse by not doing anything. The ones that really irritated me were, 'drink water', 'wash your face without soap' and 'stop wearing make-up.'”

A lack of understanding and empathy can often come from closer to home than we’d like, if not inside it. Developing a thick skin can be an important tool in dealing with family members or friends who don’t provide the kind of understanding that you need. An even better tool is your voice. You have the power to speak the truth about your skin, regardless of who is listening.

Did you ever encounter a lack of understanding or support from your friends and family?

"They were the worst for trying to give you ‘advice’, especially with them saying 'just get over it' and 'people have it worse than you.' My family were very judgmental about my skin and had the biggest impact on how it affected my mental health. I have a few friends that support me completely and encouraged me to start my Instagram account."

Have you tried any unorthodox or unusual treatments, as an apparent last resort, or out of frustration?

"I have tried everything and anything that the wonderful world of the Internet has recommended. Some of the things made my skin worse, to the point that it would burn and tingle for hours, that I would have to lie with a cold, wet cloth on my face. I was sent a product by a company in America to try, that had no testing or anything but, because they said it would heal my skin, I tried it. I used it once. The pain alone made me cry!"

There are so many stories out there of people finding themselves at their wits end when it comes to dealing with their skin issues. We’re really grateful to Rebecca for sharing hers with us. We’ve all been there when it comes to making your way towards healing, not just physically, but mentally also. The pathway up often starts in a dark place, but the light at the top is always worth reaching for. It all starts with you.

Could you describe your healing journey to us?

"It has been extremely turbulent, with a lot of ups and downs. I often describe it as a rollercoaster. It took me 8 years to actually grab back hold of my life and take control of what was happening. I throw all western medicine in the bin, trained in nutrition and a basic skin care/structure/health course and put what I learnt into practice and now nearly 2 years later my skin is the best it’s ever been. I also started talk therapy/CBT to support my mental health.

The talk therapy and CBT definitely help to get to the stage I am at now. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to look at what I could control and change in order to improve my mindset. I started doing mindfulness work and yoga. The power of your mindset can massively improve how you see yourself even on the days when you don’t feel particularly good."

Mindset focus and finding a healthy mental place are of the utmost importance when it comes to dealing with rosacea. As we’ve previously mentioned, there’s no out-and-out cure, so what better way to treat the issue than changing your own outlook? You don’t have to feel sorry for yourself, feel helpless or feel like there’s nothing you can do. Your mindset affects everything. It’s the starting point on the journey to self-love and self-care.

What advice would you give to your younger self about dealing with rosacea and the mental ramifications of having it?

"I would say to myself; 'You have got this! Don’t let the narrow minds of others affect how you see yourself. You are beautiful, brave and enough. You will go on to support and encourage others that are experiencing life, just as you are, and that gives you everything you need to get you through this challenging time.'"

What’s one thing you would like to say to other rosacea sufferers who might be reading?

"You are not alone! Don’t let set-backs knock you from your journey. Not everything you try will work but believe in yourself, believe in your journey and trust the process. Rosacea is unique in that all our triggers can be different and what works for one person may not work for you but don’t let that deter you; you are strong and you have got this."

Truly inspirational stuff. Rosacea doesn’t have to put a damper on our enjoyment of life. It doesn’t have to hold us down or make us feel self-conscious about getting out there and enjoying life. The most important thing a person can do when dealing with rosacea, more important than any skin treatment, is to make peace with yourself. Your skin is your own. Only you get to wear it. Be proud of that.

Finally, we asked Becca about her experience with Rosalique:

"From someone that doesn’t wear make-up all that much anymore, for those days where you just fancy a little make-up, I love this. It’s so gentle and light on my skin. I have never experienced any kind of flare up or purging using Rosalique."

We’re so grateful to Becca for taking the time to talk to us. We think she’s such an example to the rest of us for how to approach rosacea (and skin issues in general). Be confident, know your worth and step forward so that you can inspire others, too! We’re with you all the way. If you want to hear more from Becca, then check out her Instagram for limitless encouragement and humour for on those days where you skin feels like it weighs a little too heavily on you. Her handle is @becca.l.d. She’s an inspiration!

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