Recent Survey Reveals Burden of Rosacea

Open Dialogue

There is a need to open the dialogue between dermatologists, GPs, and patients on the burden of rosacea, according to the study authors. People with rosacea often may feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their disease burden, with over a one-third (37%) saying friends and family did not understand their condition.1 As people can be reluctant to discuss the true burden of their disease, physicians can overestimate the impact of symptoms typically associated with rosacea, but underestimate less-visible or well-known symptoms (such as stinging, burning, itching, and pain).1

Going for Clear

Aiming to get patients with rosacea to “clear” could ease the overall burden of rosacea, according to the study’s authors. The survey showed that only 14% of people with rosacea rated themselves as “clear” of symptoms. This decreased to only 1% rating themselves “clear” when asked to consider the last year.1 The extra step of reaching “clear” can make a difference for the people who are able to achieve it. It might only take one pimple or pustule appearing on their face to upset a rosacea patient’s day, noted Julie C. Harper, MD, a rosacea specialist and clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

“Clear” may also mean patients will feel more in control of their lives. People who were “clear” were significantly less likely to feel forced into modifying their daily behavior even in comparison to those who were “almost clear” (21% vs 16%; P≤.05) and people who were “clear” also tend to have a lower number of doctor visits even compared to those who were “almost clear” (4.8 ± 5.3 vs 5.7 ± 7.5 per year P=NS).1 Patients who report that rosacea has a severe impact on their quality of life (Dermatology Quality of Life Index [DLQI] score >10) are typically younger and are significantly more likely to be working, male, and have stinging and burning skin sensations vs patients with DLQI score ≤10.1

Health care professionals should aim to identify more vulnerable “high burden” patients, to implement a more individualized patient approach. 

The researchers noted that future investigation identifying contributing risk factors may reveal useful markers or insights on high burden patients that can be used in clinical practice. 


1. Tan J, Steinhoff M, Bewley A, Giele U. Rosacea: Beyond the visible. British Medical Journal website. Accessed June 1, 2018.

2. Shanler S, Ondo A. Successful treatment of the erythema and flushing of rosacea using a topically applied selective α1 adrenergic receptor agonist, oxymetazoline. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58(2):AB9. 

3. Webster G, Schaller M, Tan J, Jackson JM, Kerrouche N, Schäfer G. Defining treatment success in rosacea as ‘clear’ may provide multiple patient benefits: results of a pooled analysis. J Dermatolog Treat. 2017;28(5):469-474.

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