Some good news for patients that have had persistent facial erythema—a recent roundtable discussion at the National Rosacea Society (NRS), featuring leading dermatologists, came to the conclusion that greater emphasis needs to be placed on treating the disorder.
Rather than focusing on just subtypes, Richard Gallo, M.D., P.hD., and chairman of dermatology at the University of California – San Diego, said the new standard of classification for the skin disorder will focus on identifying the various phenotypes and combinations that can occur in individual patients. Dermatologists at the roundtable agreed that rosacea should be an umbrella term for the variety of breakouts that can occur. The plan of action now is to help improve patients’ quality of life and determine a way to quantify the severity of each patient’s unique condition.
Gallo also talked about how helping patients understand what is happening is key for helping in treatment. “Rosacea encompasses a multitude of possible combinations of signs and symptoms, and we now have an arsenal of medical therapies to address each of them directly,” said Gallo. “It is more important than ever that patients are made to understand that effective treatment is more than simply ‘take your medicine.’ The good news is that a combination of rosacea therapies may often offer a synergistic effect, and a clear and detailed explanation of how exactly to use the various oral and topical therapies can help provide results that will improve quality of life.”
The NRS surveyed 1,675 patients to understand what aspects of rosacea impact their daily lives the most. Eighty-two percent of patients who have erythema reported that it causes them to have a negative outlook on life, which rose to 90 percent for those who experience moderate to severe redness.It is cases like these that are pushing dermatologists to redirect their energies into researching the condition and improving the lives of patients who have this skin disorder.
“While the patients reported flushing as the most common sign, they named redness as the most bothersome,” said Hilary Baldwin, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and co-author of the study. “And the more severe their facial erythema, the more bothersome it was, even more so than bumps and pimples.”
Rosacea is currently treated using monotherapy, including Brimonidine and Oxymetazoline, which are both FDA-approved and are temporary treatments for redness. Roundtable participants agreed, though, that shifting treatments toward targeted therapies for every phenotype is the best approach. This type of treatment will aim to help achieve both clearer skin and a better quality of life for patients.
Going forward, dermatologists will look to use multiple treatments to help patients, while also helping patients understand why each treatment is essential towards recovery. “Patients should also be reminded that therapy is intended not just to eliminate existing features, but to maintain remission,” said Gallo. “With patients, I liken it to brushing your teeth—you’re not treating a cavity with toothpaste, you’re preventing future cavities.”