astounding rise in rosacea diagnosis

Written by on August 22, 2005 in research with 0 Comments

From Skin and Allergy News, July 2005.

The number of patients being diagnosed with rosacea has grown exponentially in the last few years, but the veracity of all those diagnoses may be questionable, speakers said at an annual Hawaii dermatology seminar sponsored by the Skin Disease Education Foundation.

“Rosacea diagnoses rose 55% between 1996 and 2000”, said Amy B. Lewis, M.D., a member of the dermatology faculty at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn. “That’s astounding,” she said. “Rather than representing an increase in the actual incidence of the disorder, the rise probably reflects increased awareness and treatment options”, Dr. Lewis said.

Other specialists believe a good percentage of cases may be misdiagnosed.

“I think rosacea is the most overdiagnosed thing that comes into my office from nondermatologists,” said Michael Gold, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Nashville, Tenn.

Henry H. Roenigk Jr., M.D., professor emeritus of dermatology from Northwestern University, Chicago, and a practicing dermatologist in Scottsdale, Ariz., said the diagnosis is sometimes used to sell skin treatments.

“What I see frequently in our area is that anyone who walks into the office of a [family physician] who has an [intense pulsed light] machine with any kind of a red face or blood vessels on their skin gets a diagnosis of acne rosacea. You and I know that a lot of people who have blood vessels on their face don’t have acne rosacea,” he said. A series of five to six intense pulsed light treatments may be prescribed, “when probably one or two pulsedye laser treatments would do the job.”

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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