What at first may seem like an innocent blush or sunburn may ultimately foreshadow rosacea. April was designated Rosacea Awareness Month by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) to alert the public to the warning signs of this red-faced, acne-like condition that affects an estimated 14 million Americans.
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.
When nurse practitioner Margaret Bobonich was diagnosed with rosacea in her late 20s, she had no idea she would be on television. As a healthcare professional, she knew rosacea was a chronic condition that required long-term medical therapy along with lifestyle modifications.
"Through the years, I had my share of flare-ups and sometimes they would be severe," Bobonich said. "I just tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle, comply with prescribed therapy, reduce stress and participate in sports activities to keep fit."
New research funded by the National Rosacea Society has found that certain molecular receptors and their activators may play a significant role in producing the redness, visible blood vessels and inflammation of rosacea.
A receptor is a structure in human cells that binds with particular activating substances in the body to trigger certain reactions or responses. Dysfunction of receptors often leads to disease. Accordingly, identification of the mechanisms of these processes, which may then be adjusted, often leads to important therapeutic advances.
Because sun exposure was cited as the most common rosacea trigger by 81 percent of patients responding to a National Rosacea Society survey, it may be important to remember a few things over the summer when sunlight is at its height. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from the sun:
- Avoid the sun as much as possible. Limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when sun is the strongest.
In a study funded by a grant from the National Rosacea Society (NRS), researchers may have uncovered clues that may lead to a diagnostic marker for subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea, a chronic condition that may have severe consequences if left untreated -- including reduced vision. In publishing the final study results in the medical Journal of Proteome Research,1 the researchers noted that ocular rosacea often may be difficult to diagnose, especially in the absence of signs of rosacea on the skin.
Medical experts speaking at a forum called "New Concepts in Rosacea" during the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology discussed the potential vascular origins of rosacea, as well as features that rosacea and adolescent acne (acne vulgaris) -- a separate disorder that sometimes also appears in adults -- may have in common.
Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, chairman of the National Rosacea Society medical advisory board, reaffirmed his belief that rosacea appears to be primarily a vascular disorder, citing the changes that are most typically seen.
A. Many rosacea patients have unusually sensitive skin. These procedures should be discussed with your dermatologist or other physician, and make sure they are performed by a physician experienced in these procedures.
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) has issued consumer safety tips for skin treatments, and additional information may be obtained by calling the ASDS hotline at 1-800-441-2737.