I have personally suffered from rosacea since my late twenties so I have a total understanding of the effects it can have socially, emotionally and physically.
Millions of people in the UK are suffering from rosacea; in fact, it’s thought that one in ten adults are living with this skin condition. There are a whole host of physical symptoms that sufferers have to contend with, but it is important not to underestimate its emotional impact.
Negative perceptions associated with rosacea
Much of the emotional stress rosacea sufferers experience is due to the negative perceptions that they have to face every day. Last year, leading global pharmaceutical company Galderma carried out a large-scale survey of nearly 7,000 adults across eight countries, analysing their response to this very visible skin condition.
Gladerma used the psychological assessment model Emotix© that tests ‘Implicit Associations’ (these are your subconscious reactions that you do not typically voice). In the assessment people were asked to assess digitally-altered images showing men and women with and without facial redness. Respondents judged those with rosacea to be less confident, trust-worthy, successful and healthy and that they were less likely to believe they were in a relationship, hold down a professional job and even less inclined to hire them.
What impact do rosacea sufferers experience?
Galderma also asked rosacea sufferers to explain the impact it had on their lives; 77% of respondents said it significantly affected them emotionally, over 60% felt it impacted them socially and at work and over half stated that it had consequences for their romantic relationships.
From my own experience, I would say that in those early days I never really understood how to manage my Rosacea so would switch from different types of skin care and makeup. Some would aggregate my skin making me feel and look worse.
I hated how red and sore my skin would become and people asking me why was my face so red. I took antibiotics from my own GP for a number of years which in summer made me more photosensitive. I just felt I was in vicious cycle.
So what can be done?
Well the first thing is to improve public awareness, so what would rosacea sufferers like you to be aware of?
1. It’s not ‘pretty’
Those not in the know might think that rosacea just means flushed, rosy cheeks. Although frequent flushing is an early symptom of rosacea, it’s by no means the only one. Many men and women experience persistent facial redness that resembles sunburn, some develop small pustules which resemble acne, accompanied with a sensation of burning or tightness, and, over time, tiny blood vessels often become visible on the surface of the skin.
Rosacea can also result in even more challenging problems for the sufferer: eye irritation; dry, rough skin; skin thickening, particularly around the nose, and facial swelling.
2. It’s not acne
These two facial skin conditions share some common features and are often mistaken. It’s not just important to rosacea sufferers that their condition is not confused with acne by others, but also essential in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Many of the treatments for acne are too harsh for rosacea-prone skin which is highly sensitive.
3. There’s no cure
Even more distressing than being diagnosed with a skin condition is the news that there’s currently no cure. There are a number of methods that can be used to effectively manage symptoms, but every rosacea sufferer responds differently and you may need to experiment with different treatments to find the best for you.
How can we help?
Fueled by own personal experience, and professionally as a Nurse Practitioner when in Primary Care, I started to see a lot more patients suffering in the same way. I decided to take charge of how I actually understood and managed Rosacea effectively both for patients and myself. I now have many years’ of professional experience in managing rosacea.
Rosacea, and the impact it can have, can be improved with the right advice, support and treatment. I no longer take antibiotics and with the right skin care my skin has never looked and felt so well.
If you’re suffering from rosacea, or know someone who is, then we can help face the problem head on.
At Face & Body the journey to taking back control starts with a 30-minute consultation during which we will work out an individual treatment plan to reduce the visible signs of rosacea and re-occurring flare ups.
Start your journey, or help someone start theirs, by calling 0131 226 9610 to arrange a consultation.
In my next blog I will talk about some of the triggers for rosacea and how to cope in the winter months.
This short video indicates the impact taking back control can make ...