In addition to its physical effects, rosacea often casts a dreary spell on one's emotional well-being, according to a survey of rosacea patients by the National Rosacea Society. Fortunately, most patients said they are able to overcome these drawbacks through effective treatment and coping techniques.
Among 1,235 survey respondents, nearly 68 percent said that rosacea has lowered their self-esteem and self-confidence. More than 55 percent said they experienced embarrassment, and about the same percentage reported feelings of frustration. Thirty percent felt helpless; 25 percent suffered anxiety; and 20 percent said they experienced depression as a result of their rosacea. Furthermore, over 43 percent said their general outlook on life had been negatively affected by their facial condition.
The good news is that for 76 percent of the respondents, effective medical therapy has helped improve their emotional well-being.
Dr. Diane Thiboutot, associate professor of Dermatology at Pennsylvania State University, said rosacea sufferers today may feel more positive than in years past, thanks to greater awareness of rosacea, especially among dermatologists, resulting in earlier treatment of the condition.
"More people are seeking medical attention and being diagnosed with rosacea when symptoms are still in less advanced stages and are easier to treat effectively," Dr. Thiboutot said. "As a result, the progression is being halted before symptoms become more intrusive on daily life."
Many respondents said they refuse to let rosacea affect their attitude or interfere with their lives -- and that openly discussing their condition with others helps them to cope.
"I'm accepting it now and educating others," said one survey respondent. "When I have an outbreak and people ask what's wrong, I explain about rosacea," said another. "It's an educational opportunity."