A new patient survey by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) confirmed that communication between doctors and patients is generally good, while suggesting certain opportunities for improvement.
After first being diagnosed with rosacea, almost 75 percent of nearly 400 survey respondents said their doctor provided or somewhat provided them with information on the disorder, while 25 percent of the respondents were not provided with information. Seventy-four percent reported that their doctor explained or somewhat explained the importance of daily use of medication. In addition, 66 percent said their doctor advised or somewhat advised them about proper skin care.
More than 66 percent of respondents said they had symptoms that could not be seen or were not present during their doctor visit, such as eye irritation, facial burning, stinging or flushing. Nearly 67 percent of these patients said they told their doctor and 10 percent somewhat told their doctor about such symptoms. Fifty-two percent said their doctor had asked about these potential effects of rosacea.
Sixty percent of the patients reported that their doctor advised them about avoiding rosacea triggers. Previous surveys have found that a wide range of environmental and lifestyle factors may aggravate rosacea, and the NRS provides a free rosacea diary to help patients identify and avoid those that affect their individual cases.
"As in all areas of our lives, communication can always be improved upon," said Dr. Helen Torok, a dermatologist in Medina, Ohio. "Because rosacea may affect people differently, it is especially important for patients to communicate symptoms that are not visually evident so the doctor may take this into consideration in prescribing an overall treatment program. Educational materials on the disorder are available from the NRS, and patients should consult with their doctor if they need to know more about their specific medical treatment and care."