BARRINGTON, Illinois (February 7, 2007) -- More than 14 million Americans are estimated to suffer from rosacea, yet most of them fail to recognize it. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to alert the public to the warning signs of this embarrassing and potentially life-disruptive facial disorder, and to emphasize the importance of seeking medical help.
"Rosacea can strike at any time, especially from age 30 through late middle age, and often plays havoc on emotional, social and professional lives because of its effect on facial appearance," said Dr. Richard Odom, professor of clinical dermatology at the University of California-San Francisco. "The public needs to know the warning signs of this chronic and conspicuous condition in order to seek proper diagnosis and medical treatment."
The primary signs of rosacea include flushing or transient erythema (redness), persistent or nontransient erythema, papules (bumps) and pustules (pimples), and telangiectasia (visible blood vessels), according to the NRS standard classification of rosacea, developed by a consensus committee and review panel of 17 experts worldwide. Secondary features include burning or stinging, plaques (raised patches on the skin), a dry appearance, edema (swelling), ocular manifestations and phymatous changes, in which the skin thickens.
The standard subtypes of rosacea reflect the most common patterns of signs and symptoms. They include subtype 1, called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, characterized by flushing and persistent redness on the central portion of the face; subtype 2, papulopustular rosacea, featuring persistent facial redness with transient papules or pustules primarily on the central face; and subtype 3, phymatous rosacea, which 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 or a host of other signs and symptoms. Styes are a common sign of rosacea-related eye disease, and in severe cases vision may be reduced due to corneal complications.
Patients may have characteristics of more than one subtype at the same time, and eye manifestations may appear before signs and symptoms of the skin.
During Rosacea Awareness Month, extensive public education activities will be conducted by the NRS to increase awareness and understanding of this widespread disorder, emphasizing its warning signs and urging those who suspect they may have the condition to see a dermatologist or other physician.
In addition, bulk quantities of NRS educational materials are available to health professionals for their patients.
During April, as well as throughout the year, individuals may call the National Rosacea Society's toll-free telephone number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH to receive free information and Rosacea Review, a newsletter for rosacea patients. The NRS also offers a "Rosacea Diary" to help patients identify and avoid lifestyle factors that may trigger flare-ups in their individual cases, as well as booklets on "Understanding Rosacea" and "Coping with Rosacea."
Information is also available by writing the National Rosacea Society, 800 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, Illinois 60010, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting its Web site at www.rosacea.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.