Although the number of people with rosacea continues to rise with the growth and aging of the U.S. population, most fail to recognize the warning signs of this increasingly widespread disorder now estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to alert the public to the signs and symptoms of this chronic and conspicuous facial condition and to emphasize the importance of seeking medical help.
"The early signs of rosacea are often overlooked because they are easily mistaken for something else and tend to come and go," said Dr. John Wolf, chairman of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. "Unfortunately, without medical treatment the effects of rosacea usually persist and may become increasingly severe. Through greater public awareness, more individuals should seek early diagnosis and treatment before the condition becomes a serious intrusion on their emotional, social and professional lives."
In an effort to reach the growing number of rosacea sufferers, public service announcements and other educational activities were conducted by the NRS to increase awareness and understanding of this disorder, emphasizing the warning signs and urging those who suspect they may have rosacea to see a dermatologist.
Although rosacea varies from one patient to another, the primary signs of rosacea may include facial flushing, persistent redness, bumps and pimples, and visible blood vessels, according to the NRS standard classification of rosacea, developed by a consensus committee and review panel of 17 experts worldwide.1
"While rosacea can cause physical discomfort for many patients, the emotional pain from its effect on personal appearance may be far worse for many more," Dr. Wolf said. "Fortunately, medical therapy and trigger avoidance can effectively control this disorder."
- Wilkin J, Dahl M, Detmar M, et al. Standard grading system for rosacea: Report of the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classification and Staging of Rosacea. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2004;50:907-912.