There is so much pressure to look a certain way in regards to weight, what we wear, physical features and complexion. The other day my 3 1/2 year old was looking in the mirror at a scab on her face that she got from a battle with her younger sister. All of a sudden she started screaming “get it off me NOW, I want it gone, it’s ugly, I’m ugly”. A few minutes later she was talking about being fat. It was heartbreaking that at 3 1/2 she is already concerned about her image. I have no idea where she got it from because I have never said anything like that to her. I can only imagine that it is what she sees. Media has a big impact on our perception of beauty. There are “beautiful” women; thin, in great shape, wearing great clothes and shoes, make-up done, and flawless skin all over T.V. and in magazines. It’s important, especially for youth, when celebrities share their experiences and create awareness about conditions which impact their appearance.
April was designated as ROSACEA awareness month. When I received an e-mail about spreading awareness I immediately wanted to join because I wanted to find out more about the skin condition. I do not have rosacea but I developed melasma which I am very self-conscious about. In honor of this month, celebrity Cynthia Nixon from my favorite HBO series Sex and the City shared her personal experience with ROSACEA. Thank you Cynthia for sharing your experience on your public service announcement, educating me about ROSACEA and reminding everyone, not just sufferers but the world that no one is picture perfect- not even celebrities (What Cynthia wants you to know from MamaDrama).
What you should know about ROSACEA (all information below from the Rosacea Fact Sheet I received from MamaDrama, additional information can be found on the RosaceaFacts website and RosaceaFacts Facebook page):
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects over 16 million Americans, yet it is still somewhat unknown and poorly understood. Often characterized by flare-‐ups and periods of remissions, rosacea isa chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes persistent facial redness, blemishes and bumps.Although rosacea can affect anyone, people over age 30 with fair skin and a family history are most at risk.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Symptoms of rosacea can vary greatly from person to person but may include:
• Blushing: a tendency to blush or flush easily
• Redness: persistent redness in the center of the face
• Irritation: a burning or stinging sensation on the face; the skin also may itch or feel tight
• Bumps: red bumps, visible blood vessels and pus-‐filled pimples may occur
• Eyes: burning, itching, watery eyes and/or swollen eyelids
Causes & Common Triggers
While the cause of this condition is not fully understood, researchers suspect that rosacea may be
caused by a combination of inflammatory proteins and peptides in the skin, rather than by bacteria.
Common triggers for flare-‐ups include seasonal weather conditions, emotional stress, exercise, alcohol
consumption and spicy foods.
Rosacea & Acne: What’s the Difference?
Before you assume those bumps on your face are acne – take another look! Rosacea and acne often can
look very similar on the surface, but beyond the skin’s surface there are separate issues going on. There
are no products for the self-‐treatment of rosacea, and it can actually worsen if treated with medications
intended for acne. If you suspect that you may have rosacea, a trip to the dermatologist is a must.
The Emotional Effects of Rosacea
Rosacea affects the face, so people with this condition can often experience embarrassment, low self-‐
esteem and depression. Rosacea is a disease that can deeply affect people emotionally as well as
A survey of rosacea sufferers found the condition had:
• Decreased their self-‐confidence and self-‐esteem
• Made them cancel social engagements and avoid public contact
• Negatively affected their professional interactions and even caused them to miss work
The good news? A majority of people polled also said medical treatment improved their emotional and
Treatment of Rosacea
It is important for people who think they have rosacea to talk to a dermatologist about their symptoms.
If left untreated, rosacea may progress in severity and result in permanent changes to the skin. In a
National Rosacea Society survey, about half of rosacea sufferers said without treatment, their condition
There are several FDA-‐approved treatments available (both topical and oral therapies) to help reduce
the inflammatory lesions of rosacea. A dermatologist will determine which treatment is best for every
patient. Lifestyle modifications to avoid triggers may also help manage symptoms.
Help spread awareness and follow the campaign on Twitter with #RosaceaFacts. If you know someone with the condition be considerate of the emotional impact a flare up might have on them.