BARRINGTON, Illinois (February 4, 2015) – While researchers continue to make progress in understanding the disease process of rosacea, lack of public awareness of the disorder remains a stumbling block to its control. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to educate the public on the warning signs of this chronic and widespread facial condition now estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans.
In a recent NRS survey of 1,459 rosacea patients, 45 percent said they had never heard of rosacea prior to their diagnosis, and 95 percent said they had known little or nothing about its signs and symptoms.
“Researchers are now making steady progress in defining potential causes of the disorder, which may lead to significant advances in its treatment and care,” said Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of dermatology at the University of California – San Diego and a member of the NRS Medical Advisory Board. “Nonetheless, translating those scientific advances into effective therapy will be for naught if those who suffer from the disorder fail to realize they have a medical condition that can be treated.”
Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, medical research has substantially increased as the NRS has awarded $1.4 million to fund 56 studies through its research grants program. The range of possible causes under investigation includes defects in the immune system, the nervous system and facial blood vessels, genetics, and the presence of Demodex mites.
During Rosacea Awareness Month and throughout the year, the NRS will conduct public education activities to reach the millions of rosacea sufferers who have not yet been diagnosed, emphasizing the warning signs and urging those who suspect they may have rosacea to see a dermatologist. Bulk quantities of educational materials are available to health professionals for their patients through the NRS website at rosacea.org. Those interested in spreading awareness during the month of April are encouraged to visit the official Rosacea Awareness Month landing page rosacea.org/patients/ram for ways in which they can participate.
Although rosacea varies from one patient to another, the standard subtypes of rosacea reflect the most common patterns of signs and symptoms, and characteristics of more than one subtype may occur at the same time. Subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea is characterized by flushing and persistent redness on the central portion of the face, while subtype 2 (papulopustular) rosacea also features papules and pustules.
Subtype 3 (phymatous) rosacea includes thickening of the skin, irregular nodularities and enlargement, especially of the nose. Subtype 4 is ocular rosacea, where the eyes may have a watery or bloodshot appearance, the sensation of a foreign body, burning or stinging, dryness, itching, light sensitivity and other signs and symptoms.
During April and throughout the year, individuals may call the National Rosacea Society’s toll-free telephone number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH for information. The NRS offers Rosacea Review, a newsletter for rosacea patients; a “Rosacea Diary” to help patients identify and avoid lifestyle factors that may trigger flare-ups in their individual cases; and other booklets to help patients understand and manage their condition.
Information is also available by visiting the NRS website at rosacea.org; writing the National Rosacea Society, 196 James Street, Barrington, Illinois 60010; or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the National Rosacea Society on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for up-to-date information and tips on rosacea.
About the National Rosacea Society
The National Rosacea Society is the world's largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of the estimated 16 million Americans who suffer from this widespread but poorly understood disorder. Its mission is to raise awareness of rosacea, provide public health information on the disorder and support medical research that may lead to improvements in its management, prevention and potential cure.
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