Why I Refuse to Cover My Rosacea

First of all, a confession right up front: I don’t think my rosacea would respond well to any sort of cover-up at this point. So, I’m not as brave or counter-culture as it may initially seem. A chunk of this decision was made for me by my body, but I guess I could keep trying to fight that, if that’s what I really wanted for myself.

During the first few flares, I did try a lot of different cosmetics – even those recommended by my doctor. But, they all seemed to further irritate my skin. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I quit trying to find a cover-up altogether and focused on letting my skin heal from the self-inflicted damage of makeup. The price just didn’t seem worth the reward in the end.

Then I began the odd behavior of not leaving the house if my rosacea was a little “showy.” But, heat activity and random pinkness are completely unpredictable, and this behavior pattern started to eat away at my daily life very quickly.

I lost all ability to schedule, even with the most basic of commitments. It meant giving up on work projects and community endeavors I felt passionate about. It meant giving up the good times with family and friends who love me no matter how red I get. After only a couple of weeks of this type of hiding away, I forced myself back out into the world on most days, despite the chronic and recurrent situation.

Although if I have a truly severe flare-up, which involves intense heat, pain, stinging, burning, and swelling, then I do stay home until the worst has passed because I’m far too sensitive to stimuli in that state to venture very far. Thankfully, true flare-ups have been rare these days since proper diagnosis, treatment, and management protocols have been put into place.

Lately, I’ve just let it all hang out every day. I don’t even try to blend in anymore, and I certainly don’t try to cover myself up. I do wear a hat for sun protection, but beyond that, I let my face be seen as it is, in the moment. If it’s a face with rosacea activity, then so be it.

Rosacea is a reality. It is even estimated that as many as 16 million people in
the United States live with it, some of them unknowingly. Rosacea is also deeply personal, a part of my life and myself. I live with it.

It is my truth…One of many truths that I carry within me. And, the truth requires no cover up.

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