Bride-to-be feared her face would ‘split open’ after horrific allergic reaction to hair dye triggered rosacea just months before her wedding


  • Deborah Duffie, 33, dyed her hair blonde to celebrate her engagement
  • But hours later, her face began to swell so much she couldn’t see
  • She received steroid injections and antibiotics in A&E and went home
  • Doctors said the reaction was temporary, but her face remained red
  • For months her skin became blotchy and sore at the slightest trigger 
  • She was diagnosed with severe rosacea, triggered by the allergic reaction
  • While a steroid cream worked initially, it stopped helping within months 
  • Knowing her wedding was coming up she tweeted beauty blogs for advice
  • Someone recommended a cream containing an extract of capers
  • Within weeks, the cream calmed her skin, clearing her spots and redness
  • Had ‘radiant’ skin on the big day, which was ‘the best present ever’

A woman was left feeling ‘hideous’ after an allergic reaction to hair dye triggered severe rosacea and her skin erupted in furious spots.

Deborah Duffie, 33, had her hair dyed blonde at a salon after getting engaged to her fiancé, Chris.

But hours later, she was rushed to A&E because her face and lips had swollen to twice their size.

Doctors gave her steroid creams and antibiotics and said the redness would be temporary, but weeks later her skin was still stinging and covered in spots.

She was diagnosed with rosacea, a skin condition which usually affects older women, as a result of an allergic reaction to the hair dye.

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Deborah Duffie, 33, suffered an allergic reaction to hair dye which triggered severe rosacea, a condition which left her skin red, sore and blotchy. Just months before her wedding and after becoming distressed over her skin, she was recommended a cream containing capers which cleared her skin within weeks 

Deborah Duffie, 33, suffered an allergic reaction to hair dye which triggered severe rosacea, a condition which left her skin red, sore and blotchy. Just months before her wedding and after becoming distressed over her skin, she was recommended a cream containing capers which cleared her skin within weeks

Mrs Duffie experienced soreness and redness at the slightest trigger for months. Having a glass of red wine, or going out in the cold could trigger a flare up, as could wearing make up or using products. Finally she found a cream which worked after tweeting a beauty blog. Here she is pictured, left and right, with clear skin

Mrs Duffie experienced soreness and redness at the slightest trigger for months. Having a glass of red wine, or going out in the cold could trigger a flare up, as could wearing make up or using products. Finally she found a cream which worked after tweeting a beauty blog. Here she is pictured, left and right, with clear skin

Mrs Duffie experienced soreness and redness at the slightest trigger for months. Having a glass of red wine, or going out in the cold could trigger a flare up, as could wearing make up or using products. Finally she found a cream which worked after tweeting a beauty blog. Here she is pictured, left and right, with clear skin

After using the caper-containing cream Mrs Duffie's skin cleared for her wedding day. Being able to look 'radiant' as she walked down the aisle was the 'best wedding present she could have asked for', she says

After using the caper-containing cream Mrs Duffie’s skin cleared for her wedding day. Being able to look ‘radiant’ as she walked down the aisle was the ‘best wedding present she could have asked for’, she says

For months, her skin would burn hot and red after a glass of wine or going out into the cold and she thought about cancelling her upcoming wedding.

Desperate for clear skin on her big day, she tweeted beauty blogs for advice.

She eventually stumbled across a skin cream that contains an extract of capers, the salty green buds found in tartare sauce.

The caper extract in the cream is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, and within three weeks the spots had subsided and her skin was less sensitive and red.

Miraculously, by her wedding day just weeks later, her skin was ‘radiantly clear’ – something she described as the ‘best wedding present ever’.

Mrs Duffie, from Glasgow, said she was eventually told is was her hair dye that triggered the rosacea in the first place.

She told MailOnline: ‘I had just got engaged and fancied a change so decided to get my hair highlighted. Naturally I am brunette.

‘I was delighted with my new blonde hair until I got home and my face started swelling up.

‘Within a few hours I could barely see. My eyes were like two swollen eggs, my lips had swollen to almost double the size and I had red blotches all over my face and my skin was red hot.’

WHAT IS ROSACEA?

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Symptoms often begin with episodes of flushing (where the skin turns red for a short period), but other symptoms can develop as the condition progresses, such as:

  • burning and stinging sensations
  • permanent redness
  • spots (papules and pustules)
  • small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible

Rosacea is a relapsing condition, which means there are periods when symptoms are particularly bad, followed by periods when the condition is less severe.

Many of the symptoms of rosacea can be controlled to a degree with treatment.

But the changes to physical appearance that may occur as a result of the condition can still have a significant psychological and social impact.

It affects how a person feels about themselves and how they interact with others.

‘In panic, we rushed into A&E as I was worried the swelling wasn’t going to stop and that maybe my skin would split as my face was stinging like crazy.’

Mrs Duffie was told she had suffered a severe reaction to the hair dye.

Doctors gave her steroid injections to try and calm the swelling and she was eventually sent home with a course of antibiotics and tablets to take for two weeks.

Although the doctors said the reaction was bad, they added it would be temporary.

But after a week, while the swelling had subsided, her face was still red, blotchy and very sore.

She said: ‘My skin kept flaring up red and I had developed small furious spots all over my cheeks, nose and chin.

‘Before the hair dye reaction I’d always had lovely skin, I was devastated’

For months the symptoms persisted and she could no longer put products she’d used for years on her face for fear it would cause a flare-up.

She said: ‘Anything would trigger it from a hot room to wind or a glass of wine. My skin seemed totally out of control.

‘I started reacting to almost every skin cream or cosmetic I put on my face, ones I had been using for years with no problems.

‘Now they would make my skin sting and go furiously red and blotchy.

‘I knew there was something seriously wrong with my skin but I didn’t realise it was such a serious condition.’

Eventually, Mrs Duffie went to her doctor who immediately diagnosed her with rosacea as well as hyper sensitivity of the skin.

He said the hair dye reaction had triggered full blown rosacea even though she was relatively young to have it. Usually rosacea effects women in their 40s and 50s.

Miss Duffie (right) was trying out a new blonde hair colour in celebration of her engagement to fiancé Chris (left). They were at a black tie dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel in London when her face began to swell up

Miss Duffie (right) was trying out a new blonde hair colour in celebration of her engagement to fiancé Chris (left). They were at a black tie dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel in London when her face began to swell up

Mrs Duffie had experimented with her hair colour when she was younger. She is pictured here, left, with blonde hair. She had decided to dye her hair blonde again in preparation for her wedding

Mrs Duffie had experimented with her hair colour when she was younger. She is pictured here, left, with blonde hair. She had decided to dye her hair blonde again in preparation for her wedding

She was prescribed a steroid cream to put on her skin, which worked well for six months, before the rosacea came back with a vengeance.

Her doctors warned long-term use of the steroid cream could damage her skin permanently.

Mrs Duffie said: ‘By this time I was becoming panicked as I was due to get married in a few months and my skin was getting worse and worse,’ she recalls.

‘I imagined myself in my wedding photos with this bright red spotty skin and it made me feel like cancelling the whole thing.

‘I was desperate to find something other than steroids that could help with my skin.’

I was so red and flushed I had to sit down in a café with ice cubes on my face

She tried an array of cosmetics, from nappy cream to Vaseline, but northing worked.

‘Most products burned my skin and made the redness worse and I had had to resort back to the steroid cream to control my skin, as a result.

‘Some products dried out dry my skin so badly it started to flake off. It was a vicious circle. Nothing really works on the redness, which was almost always there, even with the steroid cream.’

Her fiancé Chris was very supportive, but was upset as he could see how distressed she became as their wedding day crept closer and closer.

It was a traumatic incident in a brideswear shop that triggered her to find products that wouldn’t inflame her skin.

She said: ‘One day when I went shopping for my wedding dress with my mum and bridesmaids my face went so red I had to abandon my dress fitting and sit down in a café with ice cubes on my face.’

‘I got home and decided I just had to stop using everything on my skin even if it meant looking dreadful.

Mrs Duffie says she hopes her story will give hope to rosacea sufferers who are searching for treatments for the condition. Here, she is pictured with clear skin after using the Skin Shop's KALME range

Mrs Duffie says she hopes her story will give hope to rosacea sufferers who are searching for treatments for the condition. Here, she is pictured with clear skin after using the Skin Shop’s KALME range

‘I felt my skin had just had enough and it was reacting to everything I put on it. When I stopped the steroid cream completely my skin erupted. I looked hideous.’

In desperation, she tweeted beauty blogs to see if anyone had a remedy for rosacea without chemicals in it.

She stumbled across the Skin Shop’s KALME products after someone tweeted her back and recommended it.

‘It’s been the best bit of advice I’ve ever had,’ she said.

KALME skincare contains a patented caper extract called Derma Sensitive.

Its manufacturers claim it can reduce skin redness and sensitivity by up to 70 per cent in four weeks, after carrying out a clinical trial of 20 people.

This is because the caper-extract present in the product has anti-inflammatory properties, they claim, as proved by a Saudi Arabian study published in 1985.

‘Within three weeks the spots had started to subside and my skin was much less sensitive and red,’ Mrs Duffie said.

HOW DOES A CREAM CONTAINING CAPERS HELP ROSACEA?

A study carried out in 1985 found capers -  used in KALME products - have anti-inflammatory properties

A study carried out in 1985 found capers – used in KALME products – have anti-inflammatory properties

KALME claims its cream can help rosacea sufferers because it contains a blend of caper extracts called Derma Sensitive.

A study published in 1985 showed that caper buds offer anti-inflammatory activity and are almost as effective as a recognised anti-inflammatory compound called oxyphenbutazone, the study reported.

Capers induced a 50 per cent reduction in inflammation, as opposed to 66 per cent for oxyphenbutazone.

KALME tested its new formula on a panel of 20 people with sensitive, reactive skin, prone to discomfort and redness.

After four weeks, the volunteers reported improvements to their skin of between 10 to 70 per cent, compared with another calming ingredient called Bisabolol.

KALME claims its range significantly reduces redness, decreases skin reactivity and improves skin comfort.

Source: KALME

‘My friends started commenting on how amazingly clear my skin looked.’

With her wedding just a few weeks away, she was delighted with the results.

‘Not only had the redness drastically reduced, my skin was virtually clear of spots and had stopped stinging.’

Mrs Duffie was able to celebrate her wedding day without the embarrassment of red skin.

She said: ‘For my wedding day, my skin was radiantly clear, it was the best wedding present I could have asked for.’

Now, she is able to wear make-up, but she gives her skin ‘breaks’ at weekends or when she goes on holiday.

She hopes her story will give hope to rosacea sufferers who are searching for treatments for the condition.

She said: ‘I’d recommend KALME to anyone with rosacea who feels a sense of despair that there is nothing that will help calm down their skin because I have discovered that there is.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2857441/Woman-33-left-severe-rosacea-triggered-allergic-reaction-hair-dye-just-months-wedding-clear-skin-thanks-cream-containing-CAPERS.html#ixzz3Kme1IhjL

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