BARRINGTON, Illinois (June 8, 2007) -- Rosacea inflicts significant damage to quality of life and emotional well-being in direct proportion to its physical effects, according to a new patient survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) and published in Rosacea Review. Rosacea is a red-faced, acne-like facial disorder that affects an estimated 14 million Americans and is becoming increasingly widespread as the populous baby boom generation enters the most susceptible ages.
In the NRS survey of 603 patients, 76 percent said rosacea's effect on their personal appearance had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and nearly half said it had diminished their outlook on life. Moreover, for those who described their condition as severe, 94 percent said it had damaged their self-confidence and 77 percent said their rosacea had negatively affected their outlook. More than 69 percent of the total survey respondents said they had experienced embarrassment, 65 percent reported feelings of frustration and 41 percent experienced anxiety over their condition. Thirty-five percent said they had felt helpless; 25 percent suffered depression; and 18 percent felt isolated.
Of the respondents with severe symptoms, nearly 61 percent said they avoided face-to-face contact during flare-ups, and 38 percent said they even canceled meetings or social engagements because of rosacea's effect on their appearance.
"Fortunately, through greater public awareness, more people are seeking medical attention before their rosacea becomes increasingly severe," said Dr. Diane Berson, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University. "As a result, its impact on appearance is being halted and controlled before the emotional consequences become even more intrusive on their daily lives." The good news is that for 80 percent of the survey respondents, the results of effective medical therapy have improved or somewhat improved their emotional well-being.
Many rosacea patients said they had learned to successfully cope with their condition and that openly discussing their disorder with others helps dispel any embarrassment or social unease. Nearly 56 percent of the respondents said they have explained their medical condition to others during a flare-up, and 56 percent said they carried on their lives as usual.
Rosacea is a chronic disorder that primarily affects the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. It typically first appears at any time after age 30 as a flushing or redness that comes and goes. Over time, the redness becomes ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Without treatment, bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases, the nose may become swollen and enlarged from excess tissue. In many patients, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.
Fortunately, the signs and symptoms of rosacea can be effectively controlled with medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Anyone who suspects they may have rosacea is urged to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate therapy.
For information and educational materials on rosacea, write the National Rosacea Society, 800 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, IL 60010, or call its toll-free number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH. Information and materials are also available on the society's Web site at www.rosacea.org or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace
consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.