Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Emotional Toll of Facial Redness Equal to Bumps, Pimples: Survey

The emotional impact of rosacea is often substantial regardless of subtype or severity, according to results of a new National Rosacea Society patient survey. 

Among survey respondents who suffer from the facial redness of subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea alone, the most common sign of rosacea, 82 percent said the condition had a negative impact on their general outlook on life, and that figure rose to 90 percent for those who considered their symptoms moderate to severe.  For those who reported having the bumps and pimples of subtype 2 (papulopustular) rosacea alone, 90 percent reported their condition had a negative impact on their outlook, and for those with moderate to severe symptoms it was 91 percent.

“Even the most common signs of rosacea can lead to negative emotions such as embarrassment and anxiety,” said Dr. Richard Fried, a dermatologist and psychologist in Yardley, Pa.  “Fortunately today, medical therapy is available for the first time to treat the redness as well as the inflammation associated with rosacea, which should go a long way toward easing the emotional impact of the disorder for a far greater number of people.”

While few survey respondents had the skin thickening of subtype 3 (rhinophyma) or the eye irritation of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea alone, 88 percent of those with subtype 3 and 86 percent of those who had subtype 4 in addition to other subtypes reported that rosacea had a negative impact on their outlook on life.

Of the 1,675 patients surveyed, 90 percent said that rosacea’s effect on their personal appearance had lowered their self-esteem and self-confidence, and 88 percent said they had suffered embarrassment.  They also reported a wide range of other negative feelings, including frustration, cited by 76 percent; anxiety and helplessness, each noted by 54 percent; depression, 43 percent; anger, 34 percent; and isolation, 32 percent.  Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they had avoided face-to-face contact because of the disorder.

Overall, rosacea’s emotional impact on patients appears to increase as symptoms progress.  While 68 percent of those who classified their rosacea as mild reported a negative impact on their general outlook on life, the adverse impact rose to 87 percent for those with moderate symptoms and 95 percent of those with severe symptoms.