Rosacea and Depression

Written by on December 1, 2005 in depression & anxiety with 5 Comments

Comorbidity of rosacea and depression: an analysis of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey-Outpatient Department data collected by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics from 1995 to 2002, British Journal of Dermatology, 2005 Dec;153(6):1176-81., Gupta MA, Gupta AK, Chen SJ, Johnson AM.

Background: Psychogenic factors have been considered to be important in the exacerbation and possibly the onset of rosacea. However, there are very few studies that have reported conclusive findings.

Objectives: To examine the association between rosacea and major depressive disease, a common and usually treatable psychiatric disorder.

Methods: Data from 1995 to 2002, collected by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the outpatient component of the National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey, which are both nationally representative surveys of healthcare visits in the U.S.A., were studied. The basic sampling unit in both surveys is the patient visit or encounter. A ‘Rosacea’ variable was created by grouping all rosacea (ICD-9-CM code 695.3) visits and a ‘Depression’ variable was created by grouping the patient visits related to major depressive disorder (ICD-9-CM codes 296.2, 296.3 and 311). As alcohol abuse has been implicated in rosacea, and alcohol can confound symptoms of depression, an ‘Alcohol’ variable was created by grouping all ICD-9-CM codes related to alcohol dependence and abuse (codes 303, 303.0, 303.9 and 305.0). All analyses were conducted using the Complex Samples module of SPSS version 13, to account for the multistage probability sampling design used to collect the data.

Results: The weighted data were representative of over 608 million dermatology visits between 1995 and 2002. Logistic regression analysis using ‘Rosacea’ as the dependent variable and age, sex, ‘Alcohol’ and ‘Depression’ as independent variables revealed that the odds ratio for depressive disease in the rosacea group was 4.81 (95% confidence interval 1.39-16.62). The association between ‘Alcohol’ and ‘Rosacea’ was not significant.

Conclusions: The comorbidity between major depressive disease and rosacea may have important clinical implications. Alcohol abuse does not appear to play a significant role in this association.

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

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5 Reader Comments

  1. susan says:

    Further to my saga the sarcoidosis was a direct result of the adrenal failure. All this because I went to the pain clinic with a bad back . My God I wish I’d just put up with it and forgone the pain clinic. The prednisone has also given me sarcoidosis of the nervous system, acute fibromyalgia not the spinal problems are that bad I need an operation if my lungs can take the anaesthetic. The sarcoidosis of the nervous system agitated the nerves over my whole body and I feel as though I’m being eaten alive, even my face , lips, tongue and eyes are affected. The rosacea in my eyes makes me look as though dracula has just fed as the skin around my eyes is red. The rosacea brings me to despair. The burning tightness is horrendous and my skin is so scales and dry yet too hypersensitive to moisturise. I once put cream on but the heat from a flush made me feel like my skin was frying. Nothing works!!!!. I’ve lost all the weight but am left with a lot of loose skin which the NHS refuses to operate on. Yet people who gorge and make themselves fat are offered gastric bands. There’s something wrong somewhere. Those people may well have issues of their own but mine were ALL caused by our wonderful NHS. The dermatologist even told me to sit with cold flannels on my face. If I am suitable for laser treatment I must travel 60 odd miles and pay for it myself, yet because we have a post code lottery of NHS treatment someone living in a different area can have free laser treatment as it was medically induced. Yet I and all my family have paid our NHS contributions and taxes all our lives. I wish the old NHS was back and not these trusts as at least we were all treated the same wherever we lived in the country. I am beyond bitter and am so very angry. Our NHS up where I live is under special measures not most folk wouldn’t have a boil landed there. My face looks n feels like a burns victim.-

    • Alexis Gipson says:

      My skin is not to the extent you have described, however, I still feel your pain. Rosacea has changed my life and not for the better, if you suffer from depression it most certainly will be worse, your face you can’t hide behind a mask. It is a true pain and unless you have it you cannot understand how it affects your everyday life. I deal with this frustraton every single day of my life.

  2. Mrs Susan Harrison says:

    Dear Alexis, I did reply to you but must’ve inadvertently cancelled my reply. If you did get it would you let me know please ? You’re right about the depression & those who don’t suffer with rosacea however it developed make soothing, knowing noises when I wish they’d be honest & say they’ve no idea what we’re going through. My skin is getting ever more reactive so I dread all the seasons & have become reclusive. I don’t get spots or pustules just terrible all over redness or purple. Mine was as you know caused by long term oral steroids & being so blonde with white porcelain skin, the thinning of my skin as I’m aging makes the overall look horrifying to the uninitiated. My Dr.thought he’d found the Holy Grail after attending a conference this year in the form of Mirvasso Gel. I had to tell him one of his colleagues had prescribed me it when it 1st came out but the after flushing was terrible. I really need to see a dermatologists top dermatologist as I can’t go on as I am..I’ve always suffered with Raynauds Syndrome so feel the cold dreadfully, yet to keep my face from burning like the fires of hell I need to try & stay as cold as I can. This rosacea won’t kill me but I fear hypothermia will.Even in winter I keep my bedroom window open or my face goes bright red & I cry with the pain. My poor husband suffers because of my reaction to heat. I used to be a very gregarious, witty person & have a very IQ who now yearns for human interaction & mental stimulation. I am a voracious reader but have ocular rosacea now & the feeling of my eyes burning is very intense. I’m not the person I used to be, I find myself snapping at my poor husband. Sometimes when my face is hurting beyond description I feel like taking a sharp knife & slashing at it, in the vain hope that any scars would thicken my skin, my husband & Dr know I feel this way & it’s their knowing that stops me. I suppose it’s a form of self harming but when you’re driven to distraction by pain, coupled with deep depression you just want it to stop & all sorts of scenarios go through your head. My Dr has told me my high IQ keeps trying to solve the problem & analyse things then I’ll analyse the analysis. This is why I need human interaction & mental stimulation but my skin problem doesn’t allow it, even expending physical energy by dusting or getting dressed causes heat which in turn sets my skin off. Thank you so much for replying to my what must’ve seemed longer than War & Peace epic story . I’m so pleased you did as I don’t feel so alone in feeling the pain & depression of rosacea, but am also very sorry that you suffer also & agree that it changes your life & concealers aren’t the answer. May your God go with you & bless you for reaching out to a fellow sufferer.

    • Alexis Gipson says:

      Yes, I did receive your reply. I am sooo sorry for all that you are going through. I would question the Dr you are seeing? What is your Dr really doing to help you with your skin?I know you have so much more than your skin issues but it sounds like the Dr isn’t looking at that part of your health issues. Are you being treated for depression???? If not, you should be. Life is hard enough without feeling like you can’t get out of bed or face people or do all the things required by a woman on a daily basis. I hope for you to see improvement and yes there are people out here who understand your struggle.

      • Alexis Gipson says:

        Seek treatment for your depression. There should be no stigma but there is. Chronic medical conditions bring on depression. There is no need to suffer from depression with all of the other chronic conditions you are dealing with. If you are on anti depressants ask yourself if they are working???

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