More than 13 million Americans are now believed to suffer from rosacea, yet few are aware that the redness, bumps and pimples are not just a temporary complexion problem but rather a chronic medical condition that tends to grow worse without medical treatment. During Awareness Month in April, the National Rosacea Society focuses on educating the public about this conspicuous and embarrassing disorder and dispelling the myths and misconceptions surrounding it.
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.
Lori Appling felt completely in the dark. For some unknown reason, her complexion was acting up. She developed welt-like pimples on her cheeks. Her first thought was that it must be acne, but none of the acne products she used improved her symptoms. In fact, her face got worse.
"It really worried me," Appling said. "I never had any problems with my complexion. I knew I had to do something."
While emotional stress is one of the most common tripwires for rosacea flare-ups, using stress reduction techniques may help reduce flare-ups for the great majority of rosacea sufferers, according to a recent survey of Rosacea Review readers.
In a survey of 602 rosacea patients, 88 percent said that their rosacea flares up when they are under emotional stress. Only 8 percent reported that stress was not a factor.
Why do some foods prompt rosacea? Anything consumed that brings on flushing -- most commonly spicy foods or thermally hot beverages -- can be a culprit in inducing a flare-up. And a vast array of other foods, while less common as tripwires, has also been found to affect various individuals.
A. It is possible that indoor temperature could affect rosacea in certain cases, since anything that causes a sufferer to flush may have the potential to lead to a flare-up. Hot weather has been documented on surveys as a rosacea trigger for 53 percent of sufferers, and being "too warm" indoors can also induce flushing.
Complying with long-term medical therapy may appear to be a demanding commitment. However, many rosacea patients have found that incorporating topical therapy into a twice-daily facial care routine is a painless and efficient way to comply with doctor's orders.1 In fact, the soothing regimen necessary to avoid irritating the facial skin or causing flushing can be a refuge of calm during a busy day.
Unlike most disorders, rosacea tends to affect men and women somewhat differently. According to a National Rosacea Society patient survey on the pattern of rosacea symptoms, women are more likely to experience symptoms on the cheeks and chin while men are more commonly affected on the nose.