While rosacea is thought to be most common in fair-skinned individuals, it may simply be more difficult to diagnose in those of African American, Asian and Hispanic heritage, said Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden, associate director, The Skin of Color Center, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, during a recent meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
"The redness usually found in rosacea is often less apparent in skin of color, masked by the darker skin color," said Dr. Cook-Bolden. "To aid diagnosis, doctors can ask about burning and stinging, as this is a very common complaint among rosacea sufferers, and bumps or pimples will be evident on either dark or light complexions." Because the signs of rosacea may be difficult to detect on skin of color, taking a careful personal and family history is important, Dr. Cook-Bolden said. Noting whether signs and symptoms appear in response to common rosacea triggers is often helpful with diagnosis, she said.