Facial erythema associated with rosacea may be subconsciously associated with poor health and negative personality traits, according to a recent study. Both affected patients and the general public were found to hold these perceptions, which can have psychosocial implications and underscores the need to improve symptom management and provide appropriate patient support, says one expert.
Beyond the clinical symptoms, rosacea can often have a negative impact on the psychosocial and emotional health of the patient, according to Linda Papadopoulos, Ph.D., Mindwork Consulting Ltd, London, London, UK.
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“There is an assumption of what we think we look like and more importantly, what we think others think when they see us,” she says. “This all impacts our body image and how we feel about ourselves towards the outside, and rosacea is no exception. The perceptions of how rosacea sufferers see themselves and how others view them can significantly impact the psychological wellbeing and the quality of life of rosacea patients,” she says.
Dr. Papadopoulos and colleagues recently conducted a study1 that gauged the subconscious perceptions and the initial reactions of others about facial erythema as well as to measure the impact that facial erythema has on a patient’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.
The study included 6,831 participants from eight countries who responded to questions using an online computer-assisted web interviewing comprising a psychological assessment. During this respondents were shown images of faces representative of their regions with erythema and then digitally altered to portray erythema and asked to associate words with each image.