The angst and embarrassment of adolescence often come roaring back in adulthood with the red-faced symptoms of rosacea, a widespread but poorly understood facial disorder now estimated to affect 14 million Americans. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to alert the public to the warning signs of this conspicuous and potentially serious condition and to emphasize the importance of seeking medical help before it becomes increasingly intrusive on daily life.
Published by the National Rosacea Society.
Editor: Dr. Lynn Drake, Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School.
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.
Rosacea often casts a negative spell on quality of life and emotional well-being that is in direct proportion to its physical effects, according to a new survey by the National Rosacea Society. Fortunately, most rosacea patients reported they are able to overcome these drawbacks through effective medical therapy and coping techniques.
New clues to help unlock the mystery of rosacea were identified in a recent study in which researchers used advanced technology to evaluate the skin of patients successfully treated with pulsed dye lasers (PDL) or intense pulsed light (IPL).
"We are pleased to see interesting findings in this small pilot study that not only help reveal the underlying disease process, but may also provide a basis for developing more targeted therapy in the future," said Dr. Nancy Samolitis, visiting instructor in dermatology at the University of Utah and investigator in the NRS-funded study.
Most rosacea patients who exhibit signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea can still safely wear contact lenses, according to a recent article in Review of Ophthalmology by Dr. Mark Mannis, chairman of ophthalmology at the University of California-Davis.1 He emphasized that if eye doctors take steps to minimize inflammation of the eyelid and the eye itself and to stabilize the tear film prior to fitting the lenses, ocular rosacea patients should not suffer any discomfort or damage to the eye surface.
Success can be measured in so many different ways. For Rita Schauf, a 66-year-old California retiree who has suffered from rosacea for 20 years, success is going a week or two without a flare-up.
Rita is well aware of and studiously avoids her personal triggers -- including spicy foods, hot weather and hot showers -- but even her best efforts are frequently thwarted by an unexpected flare-up.
Many physicians report that spring is "rosacea season" because the effects of changing weather bring so many rosacea patients into their offices. Here are tips for minimizing the impact of seasonal changes on your condition: