Burden of Disease: The Psychosocial Impact of Rosacea on a Patient's Quality of Life

Am Health Drug Benefits. 2013 Jul;6(6):348-54.


Background: Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that adversely affects patients' quality of life. Current studies focus on the therapies that treat the clinical signs and symptoms of rosacea, but the impact of this disease on patients' emotional health and quality of life is often overlooked.

Objectives: To describe the disease burden of rosacea and the psychosocial implications on patients' quality of life and to review the current understanding of the disease and the available therapies.

Discussion: The facial skin manifestations of rosacea have significant implications on patients' well-being and social and emotional health. The 4 clinical subtypes of this disease include erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular, and patients may present with more than 1 subtype. Patients with rosacea have reported a negative burden of their disease, such as low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and decreased social interactions. Improvement of the clinical symptoms of rosacea improves the patient's emotional well-being and quality of life. Several topical medications and 1 oral medication have been approved for the treatment of rosacea. Although current therapies do not cure the disease and do not treat the facial erythema associated with it, they do treat the papules and pustules associated with this condition. Proper management of the signs and symptoms of rosacea has been shown to improve patients' quality of life.

Conclusion: The self-perception of disease severity varies among patients with rosacea, so physicians should carefully consider each patient's concerns when prescribing a treatment regimen. Although no cure exists, effective treatment options aid in the management of signs and symptoms of rosacea. New therapies that treat the broad range of rosacea symptoms are needed.