I can’t believe it took me so long to figure this out. I can’t even take the credit, as it was a colleague of mine who suggested sugar might be the cause of my rosacea…
I had great skin as a teenager so I was distraught when it all started to go pear shaped as a young adult. The majority of people say they don’t notice me having bad skin, which is very kind, and sometimes I think I’m being paranoid because I always weigh up people’s complexions. But then it gives the game away when they say it’s looking so much better – they were just being kind before. Well I suppose they have to, don’t they?
I’ve had some self esteem problems but generally life has got in the way of me wallowing about things too much. But I have longed to not have to wear make-up first thing in the morning, to not worry about whether the rain will spoil my face and to be able to top up with sun cream during the day without having a long trip to the bathroom. Worst of all, my kids have started to make the odd comment: Mummy, why is your nose red?
Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of lotions and potions for my skin, seen an NHS dermatologist who told me I was just unlucky, been on antibiotics for years, and tried cutting out various known rosacea triggers from my diet. Caffeine, chocolate, hot drinks, alcohol, spicy food… Some of them helped a bit, but never that much.
It wasn’t long after my coeliac diagnosis that my friend delivered the penny-drop moment. It might be sugar. Well I’d tried everything else so it was worth a go. And a web search for rosacea and sugar comes back with plenty of people who agree! Especially this lovely lady: www.i-have-rosacea.com whose website was extremely informative.
I didn’t do it by halves – I removed every bit of added sugar I could from my diet. Not just the obvious cakes and biscuits, but fruit in all its forms – fresh, dried & juice, sweetened yoghurt, honey, alcohol… You get the picture.
My skin was quite bad so it took a while to see any noticeable improvement. And the added restrictions on top of my new coeliac diet made me want to cry sometimes. My husband and other close family thought I had lost the plot! But after a few weeks, my skin started to improve. It went in peaks and troughs because I found it easy-ish to go sugar free during the week but when it came to the weekend, I found it harder to resist a glass of wine or a GF pudding a friend had made.
But things are gradually getting better for me, and I’m trying to find the right balance of what I can tolerate. The main thing is I would love to tell everyone who has a skin problem to have a go cutting out sugar. As my skin has improved, so has my temperament and my confidence. I wish I’d known this secret years ago!