The conspicuous redness, blemishes and swelling caused by rosacea can take a significant toll on an individual's emotional health. You may find your self-confidence and self-esteem are suffering as a result of your appearance, but you can turn the situation around by taking appropriate action to bring your rosacea symptoms under control.
The first step is to accept that you have a medical condition, rather than denying it. Although rosacea is not life threatening, it is usually a chronic disorder of flare-ups and remissions that becomes increasingly severe without long-term therapy. Although this fact cannot be changed, you can personally take control of your condition and restore your appearance by complying with long-term medical treatment and avoiding those lifestyle factors that aggravate your individual case.
The good news is that emotional health generally returns when rosacea symptoms are successfully addressed. Seventy percent of rosacea sufferers responding to a National Rosacea Society survey said their emotional well-being improved when their rosacea was effectively treated, and most also reported improvement in their professional interactions and social lives.
It also may help you to know that you are not alone. An estimated 13 million or more Americans suffer from rosacea, although many may not be fortunate enough to realize it and seek treatment.
If you find yourself the object of stares or comments during a flare-up, try turning this awkward situation into a positive educational opportunity by openly discussing your rosacea and educating the offender. Recognize that most individuals are unaware of rosacea, so take into account that most reactions are simply caused by curiosity and ignorance of the disease, rather than some negative intent.
Take the initiative for explaining the condition to people you see regularly -- especially your employer and co-workers, who may have real concerns about whether the condition will affect your job performance or their own health. Put to rest the common misconceptions that rosacea's symptoms are caused by poor hygiene or excessive drinking, or that the disorder may be contagious. Pass along educational materials on rosacea if appropriate.
Through this approach, you can turn potentially negative situations into constructive opportunities to create understanding.
Millions of people suffer from rosacea, yet increasing numbers of sufferers have achieved substantial control over their disorder. The best defense in conquering rosacea is to comply with long-term medical therapy and minimize lifestyle factors that aggravate your individual condition. Through these strategies, rosacea can be managed successfully.
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.