Rosacea Awareness Month

April is Rosacea Awareness Month and It Affects More Than 16 Million Americans.

What is it, how does it affect you and what can you do about it?

April is National Rosacea Awareness Month with the aim of educating people on the impact of this chronic and widespread facial disorder and help those who have it gain further acceptance.  Rosacea is a very common skin disease that manifests itself on the face through a flushing of the skin. While it appears most often in women, the cases tend to be more severe in men. The average age of onset is between 30-40 years old and may run in the family. The redness can slowly spread past the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. It can even appear on the ears, chest and back. If you have any of these signs see a dermatologist sooner than later. The longer you wait for treatment the more sever rosacea can be.      

There are four types of rosacea including:

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
  3. Phymatous rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
  4. Ocular rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty.  

Not only does rosacea affect your skin and eyes it also extends to quality of life.  Because rosacea is a chronic disease and will be long-lasting it affects people at work, in their marriage and even meeting new people.  A study from the American Academy of Dermatology found that people who suffer from rosacea may experience the following:

  • Feelings of frustration and embarrassment: 41 percent of sufferers reported their rosacea caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.

 

  • Worry: People worry that their rosacea will get worse or cause scars. They also are concerned about the side effects of their medicine to treat rosacea.
     
  • Low self-esteem: 70 percent of people living with rosacea said that the condition lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem.
     
  • Work-related problems: When rosacea is severe, 70 percent of people say the disease affects their interactions at work. Nearly 30 percent say that rosacea causes them to miss work.
     
  • Anxiety and depression: Living with a skin condition that flares unexpectedly can cause people to believe you have a drinking problem. This can cause anxiety and depression.

Treatment improves a person’s quality of life—when people have fewer signs and symptoms of rosacea their quality of life improves.

The good news is that there are ways to treat and manage rosacea. First, learn what triggers your rosacea.  There are many things that can cause rosacea to flare including sunlight, stress, as well as food and drink. A trigger for one person may not translate to someone else.  Dermatologists suggest keeping a log or journal to figure out triggers and to write them down. 

Have a skin care plan!  Skin care plays an important role in managing rosacea and keeping it under control.  Some skin care products are too harsh for rosacea so knowing what works and does not is key in the management of rosacea. These are all things your dermatologist needs to know to put you on the path to management and treatment of rosacea and putting your best face forward.   

Author Platinum Dermatology — Published April 1, 2019