Rosacea Awareness Month Highlights Potential Increased Health Risks


New studies are now revealing potential associations between rosacea and increased risks of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, certain types of cancer and many other systemic illnesses. The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to alert the public to the early warning signs of this chronic and conspicuous facial disorder now estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans.

"Recently, there have been a growing number of reports associating rosacea with a variety of potentially serious diseases," said Dr. Richard Odom, professor of dermatology at the University of California-San Francisco in an NRS release. "Although it's important to note that causal relationships between rosacea and these other diseases have not been demonstrated, this provides further reason for people who suspect they may have rosacea to seek diagnosis and appropriate treatment."

An analysis of more than 33,000 patients with rosacea in Taiwan, researchers found that rosacea patients had a 41 percent greater risk of high cholesterol, a 35 percent higher risk of coronary artery disease, and a 17 percent greater risk of high blood pressure than people without rosacea, according to recently published findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD).

In the well-known Nurses Health Study II — an ongoing biennial questionnaire on the medical history of 116,000 nurses since 1989 — the more than 6,000 women diagnosed with rosacea were 1.59 times more likely to have thyroid cancer and 1.5 times more likely to have basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, than those without rosacea. Another recent clinical study, published in a 2015 JAAD article, of 130 individuals with rosacea at Johns Hopkins University also found a significant association between rosacea and allergies, respiratory diseases, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diabetes, urogenital diseases and female hormone imbalance.3 Other recent studies have found increased risks of inflammatory bowel disease and glioma in people with rosacea, according to the NRS.

"As with any research, the associations found in these early studies may possibly be influenced by various confounding factors that will be clarified over time as scientific investigation continues," Dr. Odom said. "Nonetheless, until the significance of these relationships is definitively determined and understood, it is reasonable for people who suspect they may have rosacea to seek appropriate medical evaluation of their skin and, if appropriate, their general health as well."

Comprehensive information and materials on rosacea are available on the NRS website at The NRS encourages those interested in spreading awareness during the month of April to visit the official Rosacea Awareness Month landing page at and follow the online conversation using the hashtag #RosaceaAwareness. The NRS may also be followed on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for up-to-date information and tips on rosacea. Further information may be obtained by writing the National Rosacea Society, 196 James Street, Barrington, Illinois 60010; via email at; or by calling its toll-free number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH. Rosacea Awareness Month activities in 2016 are made possible by funding from Galderma Laboratories, L.P.


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