Rosacea's symptoms have been described in literature and depicted in art for more than 700 years, yet this common but little-known condition remains a mystery to most Americans. April was designated Rosacea Awareness Month by the National Rosacea Society to increase public understanding of rosacea and encourage people who may suffer from the disorder to seek professional diagnosis and appropriate therapy.
Published by the National Rosacea Society.
Editor: Dr. Julie Harper, president and owner, Dermatology and Skin Care Center of Birmingham
Managing Editor: Andrew Huff
Rosacea Review is a newsletter published by the National Rosacea Society for people with rosacea. The newsletter covers information pertaining to the disease and its control, including news on research, results of patient surveys, success stories, lifestyle and environmental factors, and tips on managing its signs and symptoms. To receive Rosacea Review by mail, please join the NRS. You can also sign up to receive the newsletter by email.
The National Rosacea Society has received wide support from rosacea sufferers for its newly established research grants program. Individual donations totaling more than $250,000 have been received to date, and are now earmarked for funding important scientific research into the potential causes and other key aspects of this poorly understood disorder.
Although rosacea flare-ups are a common aspect of rosacea, patients are able to successfully control them with medication and by avoiding factors that aggravate their condition, according to a recent survey by the National Rosacea Society.
In the survey of 2,083 rosacea patients on the nature of flare-ups -- the reappearance or increased intensity of symptoms -- 32 percent said they experienced flare-ups frequently, while 55 percent said they experienced them occasionally and 12 percent reported they rarely or never experience this problem.
Many physicians report that spring is "rosacea season," since the changing weather can bring so many rosacea tripwires to the forefront. Here are tips for minimizing the impact of the changing seasons on your condition.
Limit exposure to wind and cold. When spending more time outdoors, avoid windy or cold days, and cover your face with a scarf when necessary.
At first Bennie Chung, a 23-year-old woman from Hong Kong, had no clue why her skin appeared to be so sensitive, flaring up from time to time. She thought it was a condition she inherited. Her 50-year-old mother, in fact, had the same red face.
But as the condition worsened, she knew she had to find some answers. "We thought we might be suffering from an allergy," said Chung, who normally had very fair skin. "We bought a lot of different cosmetics to fight against the way we looked."
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
In rosacea, are visible dilated blood vessels -- called telangiectasia -- the result of damaged connective tissue, or is it the damaged blood vessels themselves that have a degrading effect on the connective tissue? Experts have discussed both possibilities.