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April is National Rosacea Month: Do You Know How to Work With These Clients?

Posted: April 13, 2011

Only on Exclusive commentary and photos from the National Rosacea Society follows this article explaining how professionals can decipher the symptoms of rosacea from other skin conditions, such as acne and sun damage.

Today's expanding knowledge of the many potential signs and symptoms of rosacea can help unmask this widespread but poorly understood facial disorder now estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to alert the public to the warning signs of rosacea and to encourage those who suffer from this conspicuous and often embarrassing condition to seek diagnosis and appropriate treatment before it increasingly disrupts their daily lives. "It has been called 'The Great Impostor' because people often confuse rosacea with other conditions, such as a sunburn or acne, or even eye irritation, and fail to seek medical help," says Jonathan Wilkin, MD, chairman of the NRS medical advisory board. "People need to be more aware of this highly prevalent disorder, and the need for treatment and lifestyle changes before it becomes progressively severe."

The incidence of rosacea is now rapidly growing as the populous baby boom generation passes through the most frequent ages of onset, between 30 and 60. Yet surveys have found that the public has little knowledge of this chronic but treatable disorder, including how to recognize it and what to do about it.

Characterized by relapses and remissions, rosacea typically begins as a redness or flushing on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Throughout time, the redness becomes ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear.

This condition, known as subtype 1 rosacea, often occurs before or at the same time as subtype 2 rosacea, which includes facial redness with bumps and pimples if left untreated. In severe cases the skin may become swollen and bumpy, especially around the nose, a condition known as subtype 3 rosacea, or rhinophyma.