Clinical Cases

A Case of Atypical Rosacea “I Felt Like A Slave”

formica rufa
Written by Carmel Searson

Homeopath Carmel Searson presents a case of atypical Rosacea

April 2006 –  Female 38 Years. Slim, petite, pretty. Married with 2 children, 6 & 7.

CC: Atypical Rosacea. Symptoms in last 10 months. Various antibiotics tried.  Currently onTetracycline

sx= o/s corners of r & l eyes…a few tiny red spots, that develop into very red raw spotty rash above and under eyes; this becomes flaky and itchy; can weep. also inside and around nostrils; also around mouth.

“Last 12 months been very stressful, working as pa to new manager….”He leaned on me a lot…” supposed to be working part-time, but having to put in full-time work load in 20 hours….”trying to manage everything and the stress kept building up and building up”. now job has changed and he has gone….and I’m left with this {skin condition}

Also has food allergies since childhood: < from citrus(oranges, lemons); strawberries, vinegar, white wine, acidic things……get a few spots on cheeks…or get itchy spotty rash on knuckles, thighs, buttocks, ankles. very irritating.

Once whole body reacted and joints and extremities swelled from? tamarind (sweet, acidic). Had steroid injections.

In last 8 months bowels have changed….very runny. been skipping meals when under pressure and lots to do. don’t eat and then diarrhoea. then wolfing down food when can.

In last 12 months palpitations when get worked up….anxious and irritable over nothing. losing temper very quickly. can’t think clearly; sweating and loss of appetite.

Mood swings: get very low and cry. try and block things…..when i go out i’m being silly….doing immature things to let self go….drinking too much wine…and the next day i feel low again.

Menses: fine, regular. but 7 days before get very worked up…snap at children & husband. i need to be calmer. irritated at very small things…shout…i can’t control it. getting worked up over little things. finding it difficult to organize and do things. want to do nothing and switch off. feel as if i have lost control and respect from children.

-noise.+ peace and quiet

Libido: sex drive so low…i feel as if i’m letting him down….since children…? i’m too tired, too much going on. it’s an effort to get to a level of arousal…i don’t get that craving.

Raw Rash? its painful, ugly, sore…..i feel physically scarred by something not in my control…very upset…always had good skin…feel ugly….confidence down… very angry with self and person i worked for….its caused me to have this condition. i’m angry with my self because my husband said i was being too soft…say something…i should have dealt with it sooner. i’m very conscientious….thought i’d be letting myself down if didn’t keep going….high expectations…keep it afloat….yet he’d moved on without a thought….re: stress….i went along with it for 6 months, felt very stressed…all this work….doubled and at a faster pace…on endless lists…waking up thinking of work….i was tired, frustrated, underpaid…not rewarded….felt as if not coping as well as i should do….dreaded logging on and seeing amount of work…mentally  and  physically exhausted…losing sleep, temper, poor diet and lifestyle…i felt he let me down and i let myself down…a lot of frustration

I used to be bubbly and positive….now no optimism….always too tired to play with kids…no interest. have a lot of friends from 3 big groups…now feel guilty i’m not making effort to call them. will try to make effort to mingle and enjoy them…but once home, i’m negative.

On holiday a few months ago, ?got bitten by something and arm swelled then whole body….on fire, red, hot, burning irritable, itchy….a puffiness in face and arms…on steroids for 10 days. nothing seems to go right! and now i’m scarred on face and arms!

Sometimes feel mind going to explode…get a build up of tension, feelings, frustration, pressure….so many feeling and emotions. more headaches: sometimes in the morning; a tension in temples and jaw. and can’t think straight or focus on anything…yet life has got to go on!

Relationship With Husband: Issues since we first married lived with in-laws….asian…he is under a lot of influence by his mother….been a lot of interference and he allowed this. it’s better now i’ve matured and can handle it…she has always had a strong influence in his life. i stand up for my self now. sister-in-law is very envious of me. but the scars are still there…i can’t seem to forget that…i can’t seem to forget how they made my life so difficult…a lack of respect for me….and all their demands and their controlling behaviour. i lost all identity…who i was…trying to please them….only realised after 2nd child born….i’m not going to allow them to influence things. what i really needed was love, care and support but i got the total opposite! all they ever did was hurt me! they have been so horrible and made other’s lives so miserable. i have never forgiven them for that…i need to move forward….can’t seem to let go…

I was living for other people and not for myself…i felt like a slave!

General health fine, childhood health good. acne as teenager >pill.

fmh: c/a; diabetes; alcoholism; heart attack.

Food: +++ Sweet, Cake, Choc, Red Wine


Thirst: Fairly Thirsty; But —carbonated drinks which cause gassy feeling

temperature: cold; —winter; generally feel miserable in cold, rainy wintry weather; < dark. +summer, sunshine.

sleep: ok. more dreams recently….r/c with husband and having sex!

energy: absolutely exhausted. yawning all time.

Rx Formica 30  1/7 Plussed.

Follow up after 5 weeks.

Day 1/2 Felt very low indeed….angry and all sorts of feelings. crying constantly. felt very distant from husband. had argument…it highlighted all problems in relationship. since then i’ve been fine…feeling a lot better…been resting and not doing too much. had long chat with husband about a few issues. better. he didn’t realise the extent of my problems. now he’s more appreciative, sympathetic and supportive.

Spoken to new manager and feel more peace of mind. skin feels better…..though its taking its time. Still not eating as well as i should.

Getting less worked up. i’m more relaxed. not feeling as guilty if things not perfect. life is for enjoyment. i’m looking forward to a slower pace of life. i’ve been focussing on self….yoga…had lots of realizations on why i get myself in a pickle. fai taking more control of myself and needs.

bowels: feel more settled this week.

headache: not felt that tenseness

energy: still quite tired

libido: i have felt desire…this week strongly…it helped immensely in relationship.


FU 6 Weeks Later:

Had fabulous holiday…very relaxing. skin almost cleared. generally been fine. decided to give up job. Energy improved. bowels fine.

Headache? none. no pmt.

house: unhappy where we live. want to move. its creating tension in mind.lived here for 12 years. close to in-laws. want to move away from negative energy! decided to de-clutter! i have started to understand myself more. feel more forgiving of sister-in-law. putting that behind me. i’m appreciating life a lot more.


Formica 200 Given In Nov 2006. Had row with husband re: respect to her family and interference by in laws. some symptoms seemed to be returning but did not persist.  no remedy needed since then.


There is conflict in all remedies. find it in original substance look at ant natural history. find the patient’s inner conflict and see it acted out in their life. what’s her conflict? behaving as if and feeling as if a slave….her driver is to act like a slave. the remedy is working when patient can get to level of awareness of their inner state and start to recognise this. a search for the word slave in referenceworks  gave 47 remedies with formica in bold. this led onto the prescription. some cases can be easily repertorized, some suggest themes or other strategies in the pursuit of the remedy.

Formica Rufa expressions as described by divya chabbra:

someone is bringing me down

i’m not able to work with my own free will

i’m ruled…literally

feel as if i’ve no importance

i am of no consequence

it’s like being in a concentration camp

they are mean to me and i feel mean to them!

i feel utterly humiliated

i’m treated like shit

feel small, tiny, vulnerable, worthless, rejected, something is wrong with me.

others are abusing me; treated like a slave; crushed; belittled; treated like shit; invaded; attacked; victimized; forced to keep working; mean;

desire to be aristocratic; to be red ant! to be special, to be important.

Reaction: work very hard to prove their value and justify right to exist.

“The feeling is like that of a slave (captured in war) who is weak, defenceless, inadequate and dependent on the mercy of the powerful owner to whom he has to justify his right to exist or he will be crushed. thus they persevere and work hard to prove their worth again and again for fear of coming to want or being crushed or abandoned. Formica thus feels trapped by frustration of dependency on the one side and fear of being crushed on the other” Divya Chabbra.

About the author

Carmel Searson

Carmel Searson (Bsc DSH PCH Rshom) has a background in Environmental Biology and whilst teaching in London she came across Homeopathy in 1988. She graduated from the School of Homeopathy (UK) in1992, taking up more study with Jeremy Sherr at his Dynamis School. She has been tutor for the School of Homeopathy since 2004. [email protected]

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