Although the cause of rosacea is unclear and is still under scientific investigation, there has been an explosion of new products -- many available without a prescription -- that imply they may help rosacea. How can rosacea patients know whether such claims have merit?
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.
Some surprises may be welcome during the winter months, but others you want to avoid at all costs -- like rosacea flare-ups. Truth be told, managing rosacea can be especially tricky this time of year, due to many factors. Here are some ways to keep your cool:
- Take care of yourself. Be sure to eat right, rest, exercise, plan sensibly, delegate and leave time to relax. Don't forget to use your "Rosacea Diary" to identify your personal triggers.
While the effects of rosacea on facial appearance are widely known, the majority of patients also experience physical discomfort, according to a recent survey by the National Rosacea Society.
In the survey of 605 rosacea patients, 93 percent said they experienced at least some physical discomfort due to their rosacea. Among those who experienced discomfort, the most common complaints were burning (72 percent), itching (61 percent), stinging (52 percent) and swelling (41 percent).
A. Although there are currently no data on how quickly exposure to a rosacea trigger may lead to a flare-up, the timing is likely to vary depending on the individual and nature of the trigger. You might try monitoring your individual case to see how quickly you respond to specific triggers. And remember, while a wide range of factors has been identified as potential triggers, not every trigger affects every individual.
If you're bothered by irritation, burning or a gritty feeling and redness in your eyes, you're not alone. Winter can bring a host of special challenges for rosacea patients, and the effects of dry eye head the list for many.
"Millions of people suffer from dry eye, and it accounts for 17 percent of all ophthalmologic visits," said Dr. Marian Macsai, chairman of ophthalmology at Northwestern University. "We definitely see more of it during the winter months because of the dryness of the environment, and it often accompanies rosacea."
The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has awarded five new research grants to advance scientific knowledge of the potential causes and other key aspects of this chronic and potentially devastating disorder that affects an estimated 14 million Americans.
"We are very pleased that a growing number of high-quality research proposals are now being received," said Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, chairman of the Society's medical advisory board, which reviews each grant application and selects for funding those believed most likely to yield important results.
Fond early memories of holidays and family celebrations remain vivid in Ruth Arons' mind, as does going back to those times to pinpoint her first flushing symptoms as a young child. The coming and going of these symptoms continued throughout her teens and well into early married life.
"I remember going to dances with my husband and then out for pizza, and the flushing on my face and ears would be startling," she recalled. "It would be especially bad if I had a taste of wine."