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Dear everyone, I am not sure if my personal story is a very interesting read, since it is so similar to every other story in here. Nevertheless, it might be some who wants to read it, so I will sum it up very shortly in this post. For you who want to skip to my questions, I will post them in the last paragraph. My story - explained very shortly and simply Facial blushing (FB) started as problem for me when I was around 13-14 years old. I have always done well in school, but now presentations, group work or just raising the hand asking a question became a very painful experience. Going bright red, feeling the cheeks getting intensely warm and having stairs and comments from fellow students. I tried different solutions (nothing really helped, see paragraph below) so I started having suicidal thoughts when I was about 16 years old, because I didn´t feel I could be myself in this life and there were no cure for it. Was scheduled to have ETS when I was around 17, but cancelled before I had it, because the fear of the side effects. Had therapy instead. It is now 16 years since the problem started. It is not as bad as when I was 16, I am coping with the problem, but I am certainly not living life. I am far from where I could be in my professional life, and when it comes the social life it is practically non-existent (Dating isn´t an option and keeping meaningful friendship isn´t the easiest when you really want to have them being yourself, but at the same time trying to avoid different social situations because of the problem). Some of the things I have tried (none of them have been really successful) - Therapy - Hypnotherapy - Lasers * IPL laser didn´t work at all. But after about 5-6 treatments with the PDL (pulsed dye laser) Vbeam, the redness has been reduced about 20-25 %. Especially when flushing, like being outside in a cold weather and then going inside. - Beta-blockers * This I have found to be the best temporary solution available today. It doesn´t remove the blushing, but makes it much easier. I take them in situations I have to be in (like meetings at work), when I know I am going to blush. I take them 1 hour before, but I always get very tired for the rest of the day. - Being careless/not giving a f@ck. * It has somewhat helped, a long with therapy and coaching, in my everyday life. Focusing on what I want in life, vs what other people think, focusing on what is good about myself vs what is bad, etc. However, in FB-situations I have found it impossible to just focus on being careless. The sympathetic nervous system takes over and that you have no control over. - Different creams and cover-ups - Getting a tan - Growing a beard - Working out very intensely, eating healthy, meditate, etc. Different thoughts and experiences: I have read through tons of forums and webpages (this one and others) and spoken to different surgeons and doctors. I am amazed by how few good solutions todays medicine has to offer FB-people. Take Sweden for example. This is the country who invented the ETS-surgery, so they clearly acknowledge that it is a big problem for people in the society. Because of the side effects they have banned the surgery. But, the problem is still there! I can not believe that they let people just have the problem, and not putting money and energy in to finding better cures! The closest I have come to reading about alternative solutions are: 1) Stellate Ganglion Block. This is fluid being injected in the neck-area, and is supposed to paralyze the same nerve as you destroy in the ETS-surgery. However because of where you have to inject, you do it at the T1-level, which very often gives you Horners Syndrom. As I understand it the effects also only last for a couple of hours, which doesn´t make it a possible cure. 2) Botox. I have read that they tested this for FB in Great Britain around year 2008, but I am yet to hear about any successful results from it. It has become somewhat a mission for me, being a part of influencing surgeons/doctors/scientists to finding new solutions for FB. I am convinced that with todays technology and how much we now know in medicine, it shouldn´t be difficult finding better solutions than what is available today. In my opinion there are two ways to go about curing this: 1) Finding out why some people have more visible blood capillaries in the face, and from that finding out how to remove them. Of course, if you originate from Africa and have completely dark skin, FB isn´t visible. But for most people, with completely pale skin, it isn´t physically possible to blush no matter how embarrassed they get (they just don´t have capillaries in the outer skin of the face that are visible and expands). What is different with them? 2) Finding better cures than the ETS-surgery, that gives less side effects. I think there are particularly two things that doctors and scientists need to be made aware off, which could help in research being started and done on a bigger scale: - The ethical incentive: Making them realize how much this impacts the people having this problem. Just to mention some problem in my life because of this: Being rejected by girls when asking them out in a date, because I go bright red and that is a sign of weakness/insecurity and they want a confident man. Not getting a job, much for the same reason, at job interviews they want someone that comes a cross certain. Being assumed to be gay trying to get new male friends, because blushing when greeting them. Basically daily humiliations that destroys both the professional and social life. - The economical incentive: Making them realize how many who actually struggles with this, and how poorly todays solutions are. The people who finds better solutions for this, with less side effects, will by no doubt (and well deservingly) become very rich. I expect it also is a question of funding the research to start with. I myself would gladly help do this, and I assume I am not alone here about that on this forum, so if I come across a possible opportunity of starting to fund research with the focus on finding new solutions, I will let you know. I should also mention what KPRF is: It stands for keratosis pilaris rubra faceii, and is just fancy terminology for being born with red cheeks (Or it starts appearing when you are like 1 or 2 years old). Most doctors have not even heard of this, because it has been done so little research on. You can google it if you want to see a picture of it, and it should be noted that it is NOT the same as Rosacea. When I am calm the color is a light pink, and it blends in well with the rest of my face color. When I blush, the cheeks get dark red and very hot. I can blush for some seconds about something embarrassing, and then going back to the light color. But the worst scenarios are when I am in a "spotlight situation", like giving a presentation. That is a guaranteed blushing situation, but then my cheeks remain flushed for the entire situation and also for many minuets after when I am done with it. Like I have said, I am convinced we will find better solution to FB in the future. However I fear it will not happen too soon, and I think that I have tried everything else, but ETS now. Being the only possible solution left available, I am therefore again strongly considering it. If I go through with the surgery I will definitely come back and share my experience. So, this is the reason for the 2 questions I have written below: Questions: 1. Has anyone had the ETS-surgery, who before only blushed in the cheeks, and now are satisfied with the result? 2. Has anyone had the ETS-surgery, and before got red and it stayed like that for many minutes (perhaps even hours)? And are you now satisfied with the result? The reason why I am asking these two questions is because I am considering the ETS-surgery, and my problems are the two mentioned above. Also I have read several places that the surgery might not be effective for my type of problem (One source: http://www.chir.it/en_erythrophobia.php?lang=en)
I'll be leaving for college in mid-August and am slightly nervous about answering many questions about my rosy cheeks. Any suggestions or tips on how to inform others about why my cheeks are red without being rude or making them feel embarrassed. *Disclaimer: I'm a sensitive guy, so I'd prefer methods that avoid confrontation if at all possible. Also just a few others questions that I've had recently... Does Effexor or Effexor XR reduce facial redness for people with KPRF?Would ETS surgery reduce facial redness for people with KPRF?Can getting more sunlight help reduce visual redness by giving skin a tanned appearance?Should I tell the person I am rooming why my cheeks are rosy or wait to see if he asks/cares?Do anyone else simply avoid looking in the mirror/reflection or using the front facing cameras on their phones?Any responses or feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Hello everyone!! This is my very first post on this forum. I am so happy to have found this community. I have never met anyone who could understand what I am going through... I won't go through the mental struggle that blushing gives me because I know you all know! Basically, I have always blushed easily but only started to notice and care about it when I was in high school where people started pointing it out and laughing about it. I am now in my mid twenties, and everything makes me blush, from talking on the phone, to talking to my boyfriend/closest friends, to meeting new people, presentations, looking at myself in the mirror... I only blush on my cheeks however, so I guess I am lucky in that way. I am very pale so its VERY noticeable. I also flush very easily. Going out in cold temperatures makes my cheeks and nose bright bright red. I don't burn in the sun very easily though. I am just always red! After looking at pictures of people with kprf, I am almost certain I have it. However I went to my GP a few weeks ago to tell her about my red face problem, she said she thinks it is only my skin type and that she doesn't believe I have anything to diagnose, other than the pretty obvious social anxiety that comes with blushing (when I was telling her about it i obviously went all red, was sweating, and cried - it was the first time that I admitted to my problem out loud, and it was hard getting the words out. She was VERY understanding, and nice about it though!). She said she would think about my situation, and get back to me. I went to see her a week later, and she prescribed the SNRI Effexor, because she said it could ease my anxiety about blushing, calm my destructive thoughts about it, and allow me to focus better on other things and not live life with this constant on edge, "fight or flight" feeling. She didn't want to prescribe a beta blocker because she said since I am a very thin women, it will probably make me feel awful and possibly make me faint. She also said it would stop me from doing cardio (which is a problem because I really enjoy running!). I read a few posts of blushers who were helped by Effexor, but I am afraid to start it given the nasty side effects that can happen. What are you guys' thoughts on Effexor? Any opinions on other medications that could help me? Since I already bought the pills, I will probably give them a try... I have to admit the sexual side effects are really scaring me since sex is an important part of romantic relationships. I would love to hear your thoughts about this drug. Or, just say hi to me and I will be happy to meet new people that understand what I am going through!
*Disclaimer: In the past, I had a major bias against this drug because it left some major emotional scars. First time I realized there isn't a "miracle cure". However, for the benefit of anyone wanting information on this product and my opinion, I will try to be and unbias as possible. After visiting a spectacular dermatologist (she was incredibly kind) at Children's Hospital in 9th or 10th grade, I was basically told I likely had KPRF (which I had actually completely forgot the name of until Blushingman jogged my memory). I began to do my own research on potential "cures", and came across Mirvaso. Seeing those incredible before and after pictures on their websites and in their flyers was enough to get me interested. Unfortunately, it was not approved by the FDA at this point, so I was unable to get any. About a year or two passed and Mirvaso was finally approved by the FDA. The dermatologist from Children's Hospital warned me not to get hopes up, but foolishly I did. I went to a local dermatologist who lacked any knowledge on KPRF, but he gave me a bunch of sample tubes of Mirvaso, which was all I needed. Immediately when I got home, I put an incredibly thin layer on one side of my face and none on the other. Within, 30-45 minutes the side of my face that had Mirvaso on it had turned to a blotchy mess. I initially lost hope at that moment and felt like crap for a few hours. Checking in the mirror once again, I realized after 4-6 hours the side of my face with Mirvaso actually looked better than the side without Mirvaso, but was still slightly blotchy. I was amazed and thought it was actually going to be a miracle cure to KPRF. To further my excitement, I convinced myself the initially blotchy look was just a bad side effect the first time I used the gel and that it would never occur again. Hopefully, I went to bed and woke up the next morning to find my cheeks the most incredible blazing red color I had ever seen. It was fortunately the weekend, so I ended up crying for a few hours and then just went to bed. Never used Mirvaso since that nightmare. That is my experience with Mirvaso, so if you are considering it as an option keep this story in mind. With that said, I heard it is very effective for those with Rosacea, so don't let this discourage you from trying it as a treatment. I'd just suggest you do it over a weekend. Anyone else have a bad experience with Mirvaso?