What Sufferers ‘Wish They Knew’

Posted: 04/21/2014

Rosa Menchen suffered from rosacea for years, dealing with burning pain and secondary infections from inflamed and broken skin often irritated by the sun. Her condition continued to remain an unsolved mystery until she learned its name and received medical help from a dermatologist. It was then that she was finally able to adopt a successful regimen of medical and personal care.

“I wish I had known about rosacea years ago, and received proper treatment. I would not have had to suffer so long,” Menchen said in a comment on the NRS Facebook page.

Similarly, Myrna Johns, who thought her facial redness was just about beauty, wishes she had known more about rosacea beyond the skin symptoms. “I wish I had known that rosacea can progress into ocular rosacea. I thought it was mostly a vanity issue instead of a serious medical condition.” 

As a chronic disease, rosacea typically starts as a facial redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. Over time if left untreated, the redness may become deeper and more persistent, visible blood vessels may appear, and bumps and pimples often develop. In many cases, rosacea may also affect the eyes, causing irritation and a watery or bloodshot appearance. Known as ocular rosacea, this form of the disorder can lead to loss of visual acuity without proper care.

With the lack of broad public awareness and understanding of rosacea and how it may progress, these “wishes” are likely far too common among rosacea sufferers, as misinformation and myths prevent many from taking action and seeking medical help upon facing its early signs and symptoms.

"The early signs of rosacea are often overlooked because they are easily mistaken for something else and tend to come and go," said Dr. John Wolf, chairman of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. "Unfortunately, without medical treatment the effects of rosacea usually persist and may become increasingly severe. Through greater public awareness, more individuals should seek early diagnosis and treatment before the condition becomes a serious intrusion on their emotional, social and professional lives."

April’s Rosacea Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness and providing public education on this chronic and often life-disruptive disorder so that those who experience the early signs of rosacea never have to say “I wish.” Visit the official Rosacea Awareness Month page to learn more about how you can help spread awareness. 

The NRS recently launched It Works for Me, a new section collecting advice from patients and doctors on managing one’s condition.  If you have a success story or tip involving your rosacea that you would like to share, email us at itworksforme@rosacea.org.

Social Media Editor: Emma Terhaar

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National Rosacea Society
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Barrington, IL 60010

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The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.