Recently released findings from Galderma’s global survey on the true burden of rosacea suggest a need for dermatologists and doctors to proactively open a dialogue with patients about the true burden of rosacea. An expert-authored report entitled Rosacea: Beyond the visible, available on the British Medical Journal (BMJ) website, reveals the true extent of the psychosocial burden of the disease.
Every second patient reported that they would potentially be willing to trade six months or more of their life to cure rosacea. Additionally, over half of those who have worked at least one hour in the past seven days (55%) admitted that their health problems have impacted their work productivity.
People who are ‘clear’ also tend to have fewer doctor visits and say that their health problems had no effect (rated 0 – 2 out of 10) on their work productivity vs. those who were ‘almost clear.’ Despite the availability of treatments and multiple healthcare professional (HCP) visits, only 14% of patients surveyed rated themselves as ‘clear’ of symptoms at the time of reporting, highlighting the extent of the unmet need.
According to findings, there is a disease-related impact on patients’ quality of life. Rosacea can have a high impact at any severity, with 82% of people surveyed feeling that their rosacea is not totally controlled and 86% substantially modifying their behavior and daily lives to avoid triggering flare-ups.
‘’This research alerts us to the reality that people with rosacea can feel like they are stuck in an unwinnable situation – judged on their appearance, but also worried they will be blamed or viewed as superficial if they seek help. We need to open the discussion surrounding the burden of rosacea and ensure people are comfortable talking about the impacts this illness can have on their lives. We can help make a difference by opening the conversation with patients on the impact of rosacea to identify the more vulnerable ‘high burden’ individuals and implement a tailor-made treatment approach,’’comments Dr. Jerry Tan, Adjunct Professor, Western University, Windsor, Ontario, Canada and one of the study authors.
The survey asked 710 patients diagnosed with rosacea and 554 dermatologists and general practitioners (GPs) in six different countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Canada and the US) about their experience of living with or treating patients that are living with rosacea.
According to the survey results, people with rosacea may feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their disease burden with over a third (37%) saying friends and family did not understand their condition. 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).