Beyond the effects of rosacea on facial appearance, the disorder is also frequently associated with facial discomfort, according to a new survey by the National Rosacea Society.
In the first comprehensive survey of rosacea and facial discomfort, 78 percent of 2,150 rosacea sufferers reported that they had experienced sensory effects as well as physical symptoms. The most common form of discomfort was burning, listed by 66 percent of the respondents, while 58 percent reported facial itching and 55 percent said they had experienced stinging. Less common types of discomfort included tingling (27 percent), prickling (23 percent), pressure sensitivity (19 percent) and aching (10 percent).
The majority of patients -- 59 percent -- reported that their facial discomfort occurred at the same time as their physical symptoms, and more than 33 percent said they sometimes occurred at the same time.
Although various forms of discomfort were associated with virtually all physical symptoms in various individuals, certain symptoms were more likely to trigger specific types of sensory reactions. Facial redness appeared to herald a full range of reactions, especially burning (67 percent), itching (59 percent) and stinging (57 percent). Visible blood vessels were associated with increased burning (70 percent) and stinging (62 percent), while bumps and pimples reportedly resulted in increased itching (63 percent) and pressure sensitivity (22 percent).
Facial swelling was associated with increased pressure sensitivity (34 percent) and aching (21 percent), and ocular rosacea was linked with high rates of burning (70 percent), stinging (64 percent), itching (64 percent) and pressure sensitivity (23 percent).
The good news is that 91 percent of the patients reported that medical therapy had improved their facial discomfort, and 89 percent also said that treatment had improved their physical symptoms.