You may have heard them before: hushed whispers or suspicious comments about your appearance. Because rosacea is often misunderstood, here are some tips to keep handy for those uncomfortable moments when you just need to get the truth out about rosacea.
- Don't view comments as negative. Most reactions to rosacea are simply caused by curiosity and ignorance of the disorder, rather than some negative intent. Turn these situations into positive educational opportunities by openly discussing your condition.
- Knowledge leads to understanding. Taking the initiative to inform others about rosacea can put them at ease. At an opportune time, casually mention you have rosacea, a chronic facial condition that affects millions of Americans and is becoming more prevalent as the baby boom generation enters the most susceptible ages.
- Describe the changing rosacea condition. Explain how rosacea causes redness, bumps and pimples that may come and go, and can become worse during a flare-up. Pass along that rosacea is not contagious and that you try to control the condition with medication and by avoiding personal rosacea triggers.
- Dispel myths. Mistakenly, some people associate red faces and noses with heavy drinking, and the acne-like signs of rosacea with poor hygiene. Point out that both are untrue in the case of rosacea. Rosacea is unrelated to hygiene and, while alcohol can aggravate the disorder, the signs and symptoms can be just as severe in a teetotaler.
- Keep rosacea educational information handy. Keep a copy of Rosacea Review or Understanding Rosacea on hand, or refer them to the National Rosacea Society for information.