In a recent NRS survey of 604 rosacea patients on the impact of rosacea on their social life, more than 88 percent said that the effect of rosacea on their appearance had attracted unwanted attention.
About two-thirds of the respondents said they avoided social situations because of their rosacea. Parties and social events were the most common venues for awkward incidents, with 70 percent of patients pointing to them. “Social activities like dancing get too painful when I have a flare-up, so my dance partners notice I feel pain,” one respondent commented.
Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they experienced unwanted attention in the workplace due to their appearance. About 32 percent reported receiving unwanted attention at public events, more than 30 percent said shopping, and 29 percent had dealt with it while on vacation. Many patients also said they often received comments and questions from family members and friends.More than 82 percent of the respondents said they had acted differently in social occasions as a result of their appearance. Importantly, more than 62 percent said the best way to deal with unwanted attention is to turn it into a teaching moment to explain the nature of rosacea to those who might not know anything about it.
It’s important to remember that although rosacea affects more than 16 million Americans, many still don’t know anything about the disease. As a rosacea patient, you’re an ambassador. While questions and comments may seem offensive or hurtful, they may simply be the result of ignorance. The information you share may be the first step in someone else’s rosacea journey.