Unlike many rosacea patients whose initial signs and symptoms come and go and gradually intensify, Jo-El Lacy's symptoms seemed to appear virtually overnight. The 35-year-old Chicagoan said that shortly after discontinuing oral contraceptives she noticed some redness on her cheeks. Within a week, her cheeks were bright red and covered with pimples.
Published by the National Rosacea Society.
Editor: Dr. Lynn Drake, Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School.
Managing Editor: Andrew Huff.
Rosacea Review is a newsletter published by the National Rosacea Society for people with rosacea. The newsletter covers information pertaining to the disease and its control, including news on research, results of patient surveys, success stories, lifestyle and environmental factors, and tips on managing its signs and symptoms. To receive Rosacea Review by mail, please join the NRS. You can also sign up to receive the newsletter by email.
Important new studies, funded by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) research grants program, continue to increase understanding of how specific substances in the body can produce the signs and symptoms of rosacea, leading the way toward significant advances in the treatment of this widespread and often life-disruptive disorder.
From Thanksgiving through Super Bowl Sunday, rosacea patients are faced with family gatherings and parties that offer tempting food and drink -- some of which could trigger a flare-up. Here are some tips to minimize holiday distress:
Avoid known food triggers. Identify and avoid foods that affect your individual case. Spicy foods, tomatoes and chocolate are some triggers identified in patient surveys.
When in doubt, ask. If you're not sure whether a dip contains any of your known triggers, ask the hostess.
Conspicuous disorders like rosacea can involve so many other areas of life that even a mild case can be severely distressing, said Richard G. Fried, M.D., clinical psychologist and director of Yardley Dermatology Associates, at the recent meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. But giving patients control over their disease can break the self-destructive cycle and help keep flare-ups at bay.
A new study funded by the National Rosacea Society provides further evidence that rosacea may be far more common than widely believed, and also assesses the potential significance of sun exposure.
The recently completed study, presented at the 2008 British Association of Dermatologists meeting by Dr. Maeve McAleer and colleagues at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and the School of Public Health and Population Science, University College, Dublin, found that 14.4 percent of 1,000 subjects examined in Ireland had rosacea.
Rosacea has commonly been characterized as a disease of flare-ups and remissions, and data from a recent National Rosacea Society survey of 954 patients confirm that pattern.
More than 55 percent of the respondents said they experience an outbreak or increased intensity of symptoms at least once a month, including 24 percent who noted they have a flare-up every few days, 15 percent who said once a week, and the remainder who said once a month. Another 25 percent said they have a flare-up every few months.