Sunday, April 06, 2008

One Spot at a Time

Okay, so I found out about my skin condition last November 2006 but I was still stubborn about it. I got frustrated with that last derma (I thought she was an angel, but I guess not. Hmph.) and went on a bahala-na, sort of self-medication bout: wrong move. My rosacea only worsened. It got so bad last week - I was tomato-red, triggered by a bad cold! - that I knew I really had to ask for help. I swallowed my pride and finally got the guts up to look up a new doctor at the nearby Asian Hospital. I found the only doctor who specialized in immunodermatology with a Saturday schedule and prayed that she be friendly lest I get frustrated and cynical again.

Dr. Nicolas turned out to be a blessing! I have seen several dermatologists and most have misdiagnosed my rosacea for acne, dermatitis, eczema, etc. She was the very first one who actually touched my face... and noticed that it was indeed warm, a sure sign of rosacea. She was practical and straightforward, but warm and sincere. I saw her again yesterday after a week and my face is noticeably less inflamed and much smoother than I've seen it in months (years?). I'm still pinkish and it still acts up because of the heat.

If I'm serious about looking fabulous for my upcoming 30th birthday (!) then I do have to take microsteps, such as:
  • No more coffee. I have to switch to green tea. (It's a good thing I actually like the Green Tea Latte at Starbucks!)
  • No more alcohol. Drinks lots and lots of water instead.
  • Eat a lot of salmon and flaxseed with Omega-3 to decrease inflammation.
  • No strenuous exercise. Bye-bye, boxing. Hello Yoga, you're here to stay.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures. Hot/humid and cold/dry weather are both triggers for flare-ups. I've noticed my face gets all flushed and warm whenever I get out of the car (cold with the aircon) in the parking lot (hot and humid) and into the office (super cold with the aircon again). I need to figure out how to manage this.
  • Avoid stress. Yikes. Ommmm...
As if that's not enough. She linked my rosacea-aggravating acne with high testosterone levels which we confirmed through a blood test I did last week. The normal female range is between 0.1 and 0.75... my testosterone count is 0.88! She requested that I get an ultrasound to zero in on the problem which unfortunately, we confirmed again: polycystic ovaries. Eeeep.

It's frustrating; my out-of-whack hormones get me moody and bad flare-up days make me even more cranky. But with the medications, proper diet and exercise, and management of my triggers, I will get better - one spot at a time!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

nikki!! jenna here...i have polycystic ovaries too!!!! i can so relate to this post!

Nikki said...

Hey Jenna! Thanks for dropping by. Apparently, there's quite a lot of us with PCOS. Are you on medication? How are you managing it?

Mauie Flores said...

I'm with PCOS, too. I already had my son na when I was diagnosed with it. I have been taking a daily dose of 1500mg of Metformin to lower my blood sugar and normalize my menstrual cycle.