doing my bit for rosacea research; Perth wake up !

Written by on November 3, 2006 in clinical trials with 0 Comments

This is a slightly different Rosacea News item I normally put up.

I went and did my bit for rosacea research yesterday. I have pleaded in the past for any rosacea sufferers located in Perth to go and support the research being done by PhD researcher Daphne Su at Murdoch University.

Well Daphne is still looking for more people to take part. She firstly wants more severe rosacea sufferers but is more than happy for those with mild symptoms as well. Daphne is seeing some interesting  differences straight up between rosacea sufferers and those who haven’t been diagnosed with rosacea. So far these differences are anecdotal, hence the need for more participants.

If you don’t live near Perth, but perhaps live in Australia, you may still be able to participate. For the next part of the study they are looking for people who are worried or anxious about their rosacea. This part will involve using a diary over several weeks to assess how you are coping. Please contact Daphne for more information.

So what happened during the trial yesterday ? It took about 2 1/2 hours to fill out the questionnaires and be hooked up to a couple of machines and perform a couple of simple tasks.

During most of the procedure you are hooked up to a probe connected to a doppler laser that is measuring blood flow above, and next to the probe location on your forehead.

In the first part of the test a chemical called acetylcholine is put on to the skin underneath the probe. According to wikipedia, acetylcholine is one of the first neurotransmitters discovered. A small electric current is applied in short bursts to help the acetylcholine breach the skin barrier. At various points you are asked to assess to amount of pain and stinging you feel. The worst I felt was unpleasant but not untolerable.

The point is to measure the increased blood flow and also the amount of discomfort felt. If differences between rosacea sufferers and non-rosacea sufferers can be proved then that would be a good result.

This part was over quickly so don’t let that stop you taking part ! The rest of the trial asks you to sing a song and talk about something – on your own so don’t worry. Again Daphne is interested in the amount of increased blood flow during theses times of embarassment or stress. It is all done with the approval of the Ethics committee and your confidentiallity is assured. Here is a followup to her original request for participants.

It would be a requirement that the participant have the tendancy to blush easily. For instance, prolong periods of flushing when under some triggers. I’m interested in understanding how a person who has the tendancy to blush very easily or prolong periods of blushing might react to different stimulus when compared to a person without rosacea.

To date, very little research has compared how rosacea sufferers might react to emotional stimulus (e.g. slight embarrassment) with a person without rosacea.

I will keep everyone posted of the results as soon as the study
concludes. I sincerly hope that there will be more participants as
this will strengthen the arguement that people with rosacea do react differently to emotional stimulus too! (sounds logical but no concrete data has been documented yet- and definitely not in Australia). Also, while medication usually assists, there are others who need support, information and management of depression/anxiety levels to better cope with the disorder. Therefore, this is a study that attempts to investigate if psychological support assist sufferers.


Daphne’s supervisor is Professor Peter Drummond who has been a good friend of rosacea sufferers, and is serving on the Medical Advisory Committee of the RRDi.

I know from contacting quite a few researchers that finding people who are interested in rosacea is difficult. Here we have a psychology department that is interested in rosacea, so please Perthites do all we can to support them. After all it will benefit us in the long run.

Read more about: clinical trials

About the Author

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

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