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Rosacea Affects Most People in Multiple Ways

Early treatment urged for chronic facial disorder

FRIDAY, April 29, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Most of the 14 million people in the United States with rosacea have more than one type of the facial disorder, suggests a new survey.

"These survey results underscore the importance of public awareness of this complex disorder and the need for early diagnosis and treatment before it gets worse," Dr John Wolf, chairman of dermatology at Baylor University, said in a prepared statement.

Facial redness, bumps and pimples and eye irritation are common signs of rosacea, a chronic problem that affects women more often than men and typically begins after age 30.

Rosacea has been classified into four common patterns of signs and symptoms known as subtypes. The survey of 1,233 people with rosacea found that 72 percent reported that their condition had evolved from one subtype to another and 77 percent said they had experienced more than one subtype at the same time.

Of the respondents, 83 percent reported having subtype 1, characterized by facial redness and, in some cases, visible blood vessels; 62 percent reported having subtype 2, which includes facial redness with bumps and pimples; 15 percent had subtype 3, which features skin thickening, most often on the nose; and 50 percent reported having subtype 4, in which the eyes are irritated.

"Although there are many exceptions, the survey documents a general tendency for rosacea to progress from subtype 1 to 2 and, in some cases, to subtype 3," Wolf said. "On the other hand, the eye irritation of subtype 4 may develop at any time, even before rosacea affects the skin."

"While rosacea may or may not evolve from one subtype to another in any given patient, each individual sign or symptom may progress from mild to moderate to severe," he said. "Early diagnosis and treatment are therefore recommended."

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more about rosacea.

SOURCE: National Rosacea Society, news release, April 21, 2005
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