Imagine walking into a restaurant and feeling that the people around you immediately assume you’re a hard-living, heavy drinker.
This can be a daily reality for the 3 million Canadians with rosacea, a common skin condition causing a ruddy, red face. The feelings of embarrassment and frustration about rosacea can lead to social anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Rosacea sufferers have a 5 times higher risk for depression.
“Many Canadians are not aware of rosacea and think a red face is due to heavy drinking, sunburn or other undesirable reasons,” says Dr. Jason Rivers, Vancouver dermatologist and president of the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada (ARSC). A Vision Critical Survey by the society showed 7 in 10 Canadians are unable to recognize rosacea 1.
Rosacea sufferer, Cathy Grehan of North Vancouver, says the embarrassment of rosacea can impact her everyday life – even a walk with friend. “Right now I am having a bad break out on the right side of my nose and face. I try to cover with makeup but it is challenging. I went for a walk with a good friend and made sure he walked on my left side so it was not as easy to see my redness and spots on the right side of my face.”
April 2017 is Rosacea Awareness Month in Canada and is featured in Health Canada’s Calendar of Health Promotion Days. During this time, ARSC is sharing the “Top 4 Most Embarrassing Myths About Rosacea” to improve Canadians’ understanding of this condition and lessen the stigma associated with rosacea.
Top 4 Most Embarrassing Myths About Rosacea:
Myth # 1: Your red face is caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Fact: Research shows rosacea is not caused by heavy drinking. It is due to more prominent facial blood vessels and increased blood flow. The causes of rosacea are not fully known. Studies show it is an inflammatory and immunologic condition that has genetic roots for many. Alcohol can however trigger rosacea outbreaks (flushing etc.)
Myth # 2: Your red face is due to a sunburn.
Fact: Rosacea often begins as a tendency to flush and blush frequently. In time, persistent areas of redness appear on the cheeks and nose. The chin, forehead and neck can also be affected. The skin can sting and burn during periods of flushing.
Myth # 3: You have acne … in your 40’s.
Fact: There is a type of rosacea with facial redness and red bumps and pimples (papules or pustules) that come and go. This form of rosacea may be mistaken for adult acne. Getting a correct medical diagnosis is essential to successful treatment.
Myth # 4: You are easily flustered…
Fact: People with rosacea always have some redness in the face. They also flush easily and frequently. Flushing can be triggered by hot drinks, spicy food, exercise and alcohol. However, this myth can be part true as emotional stress can bring on flushing.
For more information about rosacea, please visit www.Rosaceahelp.ca (now available in French).
About the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada:
The society, a national, not for profit organization, offers hope and help to sufferers by providing independent, reputable and current information on rosacea and raising awareness. For more, visit www.RosaceaHelp.ca.
About Rosacea Awareness Month
Rosacea Awareness Month, April 2017, was designated by the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada (www.RosaceaHelp.ca) to raise awareness about rosacea, a common skin condition affecting more than 3 million Canadians that can cause significant physical and emotional effects.