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Rosacea with tamoxifen

Just want to throw out a question. I have been on tamoxifen for 2 1/2 years post lumpectomy and radiation for DCIS. I have had mild side effects but not particularly bothersome as I tell myself this is my insurance policy. Now all of a sudden I have developed rosacea. I tend to blame every new thing that happens to me on tamoxifen and wondered if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon. It seems to be triggered by wine - red or white - which I limit myself to having on the weekend. I just wonder if the tamoxifen is somehow behind the whole thing. Thanks for your thoughts.

DCIS <1cm, ER+PR+, Grade 2, May, 2009. 


  • awb
    awb Member Posts: 213
    edited October 2011

    I would think if tamoxifen were to blame (and I've never heard rosacea is a SE of tamox) it would've started a long time ago, not suddenly after 2.5 years. I think if you research rosacea, you will find there are many triggers , one of which may be wine.


  • leapfrog39
    leapfrog39 Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2011

    It's also hereditary.

  • cycle-path
    cycle-path Member Posts: 64
    edited October 2011

    Rosacea outbursts are indeed brought on by alcohol consumption, not just wine, though wine is thought to be a more common culprit. Other alcohol may not affect you as much. You might try mixed drinks instead and see if they also trigger the rosacea. 

    While the cause of rosacea is unknown, you may have had a dormant case of it already but it has started to be triggered. And Tamox may indeed be behind the triggers in that hot flashes could be triggering the outbreaks.

    Now that you have rosacea, whatever the cause, you have it. Even if you were to go off Tamox you would still have it. There's no cure for rosacea but there are treatments, and many people don't realize that it can have some lasting effects if it's not treated. Are you familiar with the old-time movie actor, WC Fields? Fields had rosecea and it gave him the enlarged, bulbous nose for which he was famous. That's one of the effects of untreated rosacea.

    So anyway, I hope you've sought treatment for your rosacea and I hope it's the last nasty thing you get that you can associate with Tamox! 

  • beau
    beau Member Posts: 149
    edited November 2011

    Hi SusanTC,

     I have rosacea and have had it for 2 years - I am not on Tamoxifen, but Arimidex. My rosacea pre-dates my start of arimidex. The cream or gel Metrodazole works wonders. I have actually managed it better since I got cancer because I eat less things that bother it. I still do have red wine from time to time, which definitely triggers it. Hot sun can also make my face really red, along with white wine, citrus, etc. I just started to keep a list of what triggers it and try to have less of it. 

    I do notice that some medications bring it on - I tried the sleeping pill zolpidem when I had trouble sleeping on Arimidex, but I was too uncomfortable and had to stop it.

    I think that you may have just "gotten it" as you aged into it; of course, I believe that the drugs we are on (either Tamoxifen or AI) are a "pedal to the metal" menapause button so it could well be a side effect indirectly - less estrogen means our bodies are like older over night. Still, it beats the alternative by a mile!

    Best, Beau 

    good luck with it! Best, Beau 

  • every8thwoman
    every8thwoman Member Posts: 14
    edited November 2011

    Hi Susantc,

    I too have developed rosacea while on Fareston.  The Metrozole that beau wrote about worked somewhat for me.  Laser therapy will get rid of it I'm told but the effect only lasts around 5 years.  Also unless the rosacea is "extreme", insurance won't  pay for the laser treatment becuz it's considered to be cosmetic. 

  • Cdjrou21
    Cdjrou21 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021

    Hi, I just wanted to add that I have just recently developed rosacea after being on tamoxifen for three years- my skin has been a mess for the past year. But from what I have read, it seems like it is possible side effect. I don’t believe ’when’ it occurs on the timeline would verify that it is or isn’t the cause or trigger. One could develop skin irritation or stomach issues from food by eating specific foods consistently over a long period of time, so why should it be different for a hormone blocker (which lets all be reminded- blocks estrogen which we need for nice skin) ? Tamoxifen along with other drugs have been reported to trigger dormant rosacea. Anyway, it can be triggered by wine- but I also wouldn’t be quick to say that it can’t be triggered by tamoxifen- just because someone hasn’t heard that happen with tamoxifen in the past doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a trigger.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,670
    edited April 2021

    Welcome, Cdjrou21, and thanks for your thoughtful perspective!

    The Mods

  • Josie1971
    Josie1971 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021

    Hello, on May 12, 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The size of the nodule was 8mm. I had a lumpectomy. My margins were clear. The ER/PR receptor was positive and HER2 was negative. My Nottingham score was 9/9. My Oncotest Recurrence Number was 37. I then had chemo followed by radiation. I have been taking Tamoxifen for the past 4 years. I am wondering if anyone else has had this same type of diagnosis? If so, how long were you on Tamoxifen? Also, how did you deal with the side effect of excessive sweating?

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,670
    edited May 2021

    Josie1971, we're sorry you didn't get any real answers yet. You may want to try posting about the sides effects of tamoxifen in the popular topic Bottle 'o Tamoxifen, where many, many members are sharing their experiences with this drug over the years! And if you want to find members with similar diagnosis, there are other forums for you to post, such as:

    Stage I Breast Cancer

    IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma)

    Hope this helps!


    The Mods