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More than 16 Million Americans Vulnerable to the Negative Social Impacts of Rosacea

Posted: April 8, 2013
Rosacea

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Among the respondents who had the eye irritation of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea, 71% said the disorder’s effects had inhibited their social lives.

The most common complaint, cited by 50% of the respondents, was having to refuse food or drink they normally would enjoy for fear of triggering a rosacea flare-up. Forty-three percent said they had been the subject of stares, misconceptions, rude comments or jokes, and 39% had refused or canceled social engagements because of rosacea’s effects on appearance. Other common complaints included not participating in physical activities they would enjoy, reported by 37%, and avoiding new or different experiences, cited by 28%.

Adding insult to injury is a common myth that rosacea sufferers, who often have a red face and nose, may be heavy drinkers. In fact, while alcohol may aggravate rosacea, these symptoms can be just as severe in a teetotaler. Another common misconception is that rosacea is caused by poor hygiene, while in reality it is unrelated to personal cleanliness.

Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, a vast array of lifestyle and environmental factors can trigger flare-ups of signs and symptoms in various rosacea sufferers. Common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot or cold weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol, spicy foods, heated beverages, humidity, certain skin-care products and many others.

“The good news is that medical therapy, combined with trigger avoidance, can help to reduce rosacea’s impact on most patients,” Dr. Dahl said. The survey results bear this out, as 63% of the respondents reported improvement in their social lives following medical therapy.