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April is National Rosacea Awareness Month

Posted: April 6, 2010

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In a study of photos of 2,933 random women volunteers in the U.S., presented by Dr. Alexa Boer Kimball of Harvard Medical School at an NRS research workshop, the rosacea prevalence rate in all of the women regardless of ethnic background was 9.6%. At the same time, the prevalence rate in the Caucasian women alone was 16%, comparable to the rates found in the studies in Ireland and Sweden.

“In actuality, all of these studies may understate the true incidence of rosacea because they examined only the presence of signs and symptoms at the time of the study, while rosacea is often a chronic underlying condition whose outward signs and symptoms are characterized by relapses and remissions,” Dr. Wilkin said. “Thus, at any given time, millions of additional rosacea sufferers may simply be in temporary remission.”

Among the most famous rosacea sufferers is former President Bill Clinton, whose doctors disclosed that he has this condition in The New York Times. Others reported to have suffered from the disorder include Princess Diana, financier J.P. Morgan and the Dutch painter Rembrandt.

While the cause of rosacea is unknown, a vast array of lifestyle and environmental factors can trigger flare-ups 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 although the incidence of rosacea has increased in the United States, medical therapy is available to bring many aspects of rosacea under control,” Dr. Wilkin said. Individuals with any of the following warning signs of rosacea are urged to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment:

  • Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead
  • Small visible blood vessels on the face
  • Bumps or pimples on the face
  • Watery or irritated eyes