While beauty is certainly not skin deep, society does often judge people—especially women—on their appearance. The effects of skin conditions like rosacea can significantly impact self-esteem, because, for better or for worse, our skin will always be part of our first impressions. The good news is that rosacea is manageable.
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition with a proven impact on lifestyle that can cause frustration, embarrassment and anxiety for those who have it. Rosacea affects an estimated 16 million Americans and 40 million people worldwide.
To help you better understand how rosacea affects the everyday lives of women, we have provided some common questions and answers about the lifestyle impacts that this chronic condition may have. The more you know, the better you can help get your condition under control.
Q: How are women with rosacea perceived compared to those without the condition?
A. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) and Galderma Laboratories conducted a survey of 502 women with rosacea and 1,009 people without rosacea which showed that women with rosacea are more likely to be perceived as insecure and unhealthy. The survey also showed that women with rosacea are more often seen as tired, in need of improving their skin care and less likely to be in a relationship. On the flip side, women with clear skin are more likely to appear confident, happy and fun. Unfair, right? All the more reason to seek help from a dermatologist and get treatment.
Q. Can rosacea affect a woman's chances of getting a job?
A. Unfortunately, a candidate with clear skin may be more likely to be selected over a candidate with rosacea despite equal qualifications. The NRS survey found that Americans perceived women with rosacea as being stressed and more likely to have an entry-level job, while women with clear skin were more likely to be viewed as intelligent, successful and creative. Additionally, the survey results showed that women without rosacea were viewed as being more reliable and more likely to hold executive level or management positions.
Q. How do women with rosacea feel about their condition?
A. The NRS survey showed that many women with rosacea would go to great lengths to get rid of their condition. Nearly half said they would give up chocolate for a year and one-third said they would stop wearing makeup. Nineteen percent said they would give up an eternally fulfilling love life and 14 percent said they would stop dating! Luckily, there is no need to take such drastic measures, because in many cases rosacea can be treated with a visit to the dermatologist.
A. Definitely. The good news for those with rosacea is that it can be managed. While flare-ups can occur at random, identifying personal triggers and avoiding them can play a significant role in controlling breakouts. The NRS conducted another study of 1,221 rosacea sufferers, which found that 96 percent of those who had identified triggers said avoiding those triggers reduced their flare-ups. Some of the most common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, stress, alcohol consumption and heavy exercise. Exposure to extremely hot or cold weather, eating spicy foods and other sources of heat, such as hot baths, can also irritate skin, leading to flare-ups.
Q: Are there support groups for people with rosacea?
While there are no national support groups that meet in person for those afflicted with rosacea, there are online forums dedicated to discussions of rosacea, as well social media sites to connect with others. The Rosacea Facts Facebook Page is a place for people who think they may have rosacea to get and share information. The National Rosacea Society also offers support and resources for people with rosacea.
Q. What treatment options are available for rosacea?
The best way to control your rosacea is to visit a dermatologist, who can recommend treatment options and suggest lifestyle changes to keep flare-ups at bay. The National Rosacea Society can help you find a specialist.
Visit the Physician Finder section of its website at www.rosacea.org.
This resource was created with the support of Galderma.