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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Molly Powell & Adam Maidment

'My awful skin condition put a downer on my pregnancy until I discovered a miracle cure'

A mother who experienced severe rosacea that made her ‘constantly red’ and led her to cry in her car has praised a ‘miracle cure’ made out of capers.

Lesley Forward, 36, developed rosacea in the summer of 2019 but it was not until she was pregnant for the second time in March 2022 when her skin got worse.

Mum-of-two Lesley, who works as a business coordinator, had a rash on both of her cheeks as well as on her nose. She said it was ‘really, really red and bumpy’ and at-home treatments failed to make things better for her.

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In the summer of 2019, Lesley, who also works part time as a fitness instructor, noticed a red rash on one of her cheeks. Besides occasional hormonal acne as a teenager, she said she has always had clear skin up to that point.

“I initially thought it was due to a viral infection,” she explained. “After a couple of weeks it didn’t clear up, so I started to look at my diet to see if it was something I was eating. I changed different elements of my diet but it didn’t make any difference.

Lesley has found a miracle cure - a cream made from caper extract (PA Real Life)

“I’ve never been someone who spent a lot of time and money on beauty care regimes and at the time my skincare routine was just soap and water so I started to use cleansers and moisturisers. Again, it didn’t help, in fact, some of the cleansers actually made my skin worse.”

The rash eventually cleared up over time, but when Leslie, who lives in County Down, Northern Ireland, fell pregnant for a second time in March 2022, her skin began to get worse.

She said: “The rash was on both cheeks – they were really, really red and really bumpy, and it was all over my nose too – especially at the end of my nose, it was so bad, I’ve never really seen anything like it.

“I had sickness and tiredness and felt so rubbish about myself because of the pregnancy, so it was horrible to have bad skin on top of that.

At-home treatments did not make Lesley's rosacea any better, and negatively impacted her self-esteem (PA Real Life)

“Being pregnant made me feel absolutely awful, I was gaining weight and having rosacea on top of this, put a downer on my pregnancy for sure – if anyone said I was glowing, like they usually do to pregnant women, I wouldn’t believe them.

“I started wearing a bit of makeup to cover it up, but it didn’t do anything.”

In her spare time, Lesley is a personal trainer and instructs fitness classes in front of around 20 people. “The focus is very much on the instructor,” she explains. “As my rosacea got worse, I found myself increasingly feeling insecure when instructing fitness classes.

“Clients look up to you and have high expectations, so when you have a red spotty face it feels like you are not looking like the healthy person you should be for your clients.”

Lesley, who has two children, Lea, six months, and Kaley, age 13, soldiered on with her skin and continued trying different at-home treatments, but her face was becoming even more inflamed and ‘the worst it had ever been’.

Lesley is a fitness instructor in her spare time and thought her rosacea made her look bad in front of her gym clients (PA Real Life)

“I just didn’t like people looking at my face,” she said. “Even when my partner was talking to me I’d ask him why he was looking at me and get really annoyed at him because I thought he was looking at my skin. I just felt so horrible about myself.”

In May 2022, she was diagnosed with rosacea but her GP was unable to prescribe her with anything as she was still pregnant at the time. She says she burst into tears in the doctor’s surgery’s car park.

She said: “I was completely deflated and I was devastated – I actually sat in the car and cried.”

But, when Lesley got home, she ordered a new cream by a brand she spotted online called Kalme. Within days, the “miracle” treatment cleared up her rosacea, making her “finally feel like (herself) again.”

“During my research on pregnancy and rosacea I came across an article about a model who had rosacea that flared up really badly when she became pregnant,” she detailed.

Lesley felt like everyone was looking at her when she left the house when she had severe rosacea (PA Real Life)

“It was a similar experience to what I was going through and she had found a cream containing capers called Kalme which had really helped calm down and clear her skin and was safe to use while she was pregnant.”

Lesley ordered some right away and started using the cream the day it arrived, and to her amazement, within four days her skin began to clear up.

“The redness had subsided slightly and the spots weren’t nearly as bad. After two weeks my skin was almost clear – it was amazing,” she added. “I’ve now been using the caper cream for just over a year and I continue to be delighted by the results.”

Lesley would say to others who have rosacea: “I’d recommend anyone suffering from this awful skin condition to try this, because despite what the doctors say there really are things that can help you.

“I really can’t believe how much my skin has improved, it’s like a miracle cure – I finally felt like me again.”

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