The National Rosacea Society has created Rosacea Awareness Month in order to spread awareness of possible treatments and solutions. For the entire month of April, the organization will offer instructional sessions to help people diagnose the condition and to encourage medical therapy. With an average of 16 million Americans suffering from rosacea, the National Rosacea Society aims to educate outsiders about the physical and emotional attributes of the disorder.
Rosacea most commonly occurs once people reach 30 years old. The disorder appears as rosy hue across the cheeks, yet in some cases, it can cause swollen tissue around the nose. More severe cases progress into bumps, pimples, or visible blood vessels. In addition to the initial redness, symptoms include burning, stinging, and a dry appearance on the skin.
In a recent survey, the National Rosacea Society interviewed more than 1,600 rosacea patients and found a significant connection between the skin condition and emotional wellbeing. Ninety percent of the subjects reported low self-esteem, in addition to the 52 percent who avoid any face to face interactions. Another survey revealed that clearer skin leads to psychological, social, and occupational improvements.
Linda Stein Gold, M.D., the director of dermatology clinical research at the Henry Ford Health System, advocates for early medical treatment. “Recent studies on the burden of illness of rosacea have shown just how important it is to have clear skin, as the condition can profoundly damage quality of life because of its effect on personal appearance,” she said. “In so many cases, all it takes is a single blemish or a single comment about having a red face to ruin someone’s day.”
While there currently is no cure for rosacea, medical therapy has increased the possibility of clear skin. The disorder varies within each person so “finding the best therapy or combination of therapies for each individual’s case is key,” Stein Gold says.
The National Rosacea Society encourages people to keep up with the online conversation, using #RosaceaAwareness. For more information about rosacea or on ways to get involved, click on the website.