Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Model Triumphs Over Rosacea Career Threat

Tami Carlson thought it was ironic. At the age of 33, she was spending more time pampering and worrying about her complexion than ever before. She was accustomed to blushing and burning easily, a common byproduct of her Scandinavian background, blue eyes and pale skin. But now her face was constantly red and irritated looking. "It was just ridiculous, and at my age," Carlson said.

"It was especially annoying because I had never had any skin problems before." But more than that, her bad skin could effectively sabotage her modeling career.

At first, Carlson thought perhaps she wasn't keeping her skin clean enough. So she took a "get tough" approach. Carlson tried witch hazel, alcohol, exfoliants, masks and more, all of which had an adverse effect. "I thought the stronger the product was, the better it should be. But, the harder I tried, the worse my face got," she said.

Then she thought maybe her job was causing the problem. While pursuing her modeling career she worked at the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas. She wondered if the lack of air circulating in the lower levels of the ship could have caused her problem. Whatever the cause, she was tired of people commenting on her red face.

Then her skin problem had a negative impact on her modeling efforts. She flew to Chicago to participate in a professional modeling competition and was approached by a New York agent. He said her photos looked great, but seeing her in person revealed she had "bad skin."

"That's when I finally decided I had to do something," Carlson said. She went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with rosacea. "I was so glad to be diagnosed with something that wasn't attributable to poor hygiene," she said. "My dermatologist told me to stop using all those expensive beauty products I had bought. They were just aggravating my condition."

Carlson adopted a simpler cleansing routine using mild soap and water and a topical antibiotic twice a day. "What a relief! To my amazement, it worked," she said.

The redness on Carlson's face has virtually disappeared. What's left behind are a few small visible blood vessels, which she can hide with makeup.

With the return of Carlson's clear complexion, her confidence and modeling activities are back on track. She recently signed a contract to appear in national advertising campaigns.

"The worst part in all of this was not knowing what was causing my face to be so red and irritated," Carlson said. "I didn't realize that instead of helping the problem, I was actually doing so many things wrong."