Mental Hurdle

Rosacea can affect more than just the skin

By George M. Withers

April 2016 was recently declared Rosacea Awareness Month in Canada. And the fact that it’s featured in Health Canada’s calendar of health promotion days is a good thing.

According to Dr. Jason Rivers, dermatologist and president of the Acne & Rosacea Society of Canada, “A recent survey showed that awareness about rosacea is quite low among Canadians.” The more people know about it, the better it will be for rosacea sufferers.

“Since rosacea is visible on the face, there can be significant emotional and social effects for sufferers including embarrassment, anxiety and depression,” says Dr. Rivers. Indeed, since the Canadian Dermatology Association reports that nearly three quarters of rosacea patients have reported low self-esteem. An equal proportion of patients have felt that rosacea adversely affects their career opportunities.

The thing is, rosacea can feel a lot worse than it looks, but because of the physical symptoms, many patients with rosacea feel self-conscious and embarrassed about the redness and bumps that occur primarily on their face.

The Facts

  • Rosacea affects over two million Canadians
  • It’s a chronic skin condition that does not go away but can be controlled
  • It typically develops between ages 30 and 50
  • It usually occurs more often in women than men
  • It’s often misdiagnosed as adult acne
  • In about half of cases, rosacea symptoms involve the eyes

A family doctor or dermatologist can prescribe various forms of treatment and recommend which skin care products and cosmetics are appropriate. Sticking with the treatment recommended by your doctor will improve symptoms within a few weeks.


Spring 2017, Vol 9 N°2

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