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Misconceptions about Rosacea:
Rosacea Sufferers are Controlled by Standard Treatments
Topics Discussed Below
- Misconception: Rosacea sufferers are well-controlled by standard
- Main problem with this misconception
I. Misconception: Rosacea
Sufferers are Controlled by Standard Treatments
This is a common misconception
that general physicians have about rosacea treatment. While standard
rosacea treatment such as oral and topical antibiotics are helpful
at reducing some of rosacea's superficial symptoms, they do not
address the underlying flushing disorder. (1-7) Therefore, rosacea
sufferers are instructed to avoid anything that triggers facial
flushing. In real life, this means that rosacea controls the
patient. This is often unknown or forgotten by general physicians.
Most rosacea sufferers
that I have communicated with are not asking for unrealistic help
with their disorder. They are not striving to be models with perfect
facial skin. Most rosacea sufferers just want to look normal, feel
normal, and function normally. They want to get rid of the red,
inflamed face, and reduce the daily flushing reactions. They want
relief from the uncomfortable burning and stinging sensations. They
want to be able to go out in the heat, cold, wind, and sun, without
immediately experiencing a sunburn reaction. They want to exercise
without paying for it the entire day. They want to be able to use
normal skincare products without facial inflammation. They want
to be able to work hard at their careers, and work through stressful
situations without facial flushing and burning sensations. They
want to be able to sit in warm rooms and snuggle with their loved
ones without their faces turning fire-red. They want to eat normal
meals with normal people without feeling like outcasts. These goals
are not unreasonable. This is not too much to request. However,
most rosacea sufferers do not achieve this level of clearance with
standard rosacea treatments. So, please do not inform us that topical
and oral antibiotics result in excellent clearance or remission
of rosacea. Please do not tell us that we are usually well controlled
by the standard medications - the real life truth is that we
are well controlled by the disorder.
II. Main Problem with
It is paramount that physicians
understand that standard rosacea therapies are not enough for most
sufferers, especially those in the moderate to severe stages. If
physicians do not realize that standard therapies do not treat the
underlying vascular disorder, and that many patients experience
a significant decrease in the quality of their lives because of
this, then there will be very little research and medical testing
performed on rosacea. If physicians and pharmaceutical companies
are under the impression that oral and topical antibiotics are the
answer to rosacea, then why should there be any more research or
drug development in this area? Why should research dollars be invested
into rosacea? Why shouldn't rosacea be downgraded into a disorder
that is easily controlled by simple medications? Do you see what
this innocent misconception can lead to?
- National Rosacea Society. "Rosacea Review". Summer.
- Grosshans, E. Rosacea. Presse Med 17: 2393-2398, 1988.
- Lowe, N.J., K.L. Behr, R. Fitzpatrick, M. Goldman, and J. Ruiz-Esparza.
Flash lamp pumped dye laser for rosacea-associated telangiectasia
and erythema. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 17: 522-525, 1991.
- Turjanmaa, K. and T. Reunala. Isotretinoin treatment of rosacea.
Acta Derm Venereol 67: 89-91, 1987.
- Wollina, U. The response of erythematous rosacea to ondansetron.
Br J Dermatol 140: 561-562, 1999.
- Donshik, P.C., D.M. Hoss, and W.H. Ehlers. Inflammatory and
papulosquamous disorders of the skin and eye. Dermatol Clin
10: 533-547, 1992.
- Borrie, P. "The state of the blood vessels of the face
in rosacea - I". Br J Dermatol 67: 5-8, 1955.