Rosacea isn't a life-threatening disease. But while this condition may not bring intense physical pain, it can wreak havoc with a person's social and emotional well-being. Many sufferers report that their rosacea symptoms have a negative impact on their confidence and cause them to disengage from social situations [source: National Rosacea Society].
Many people with rosacea get support from family and friends, who can help bolster self-esteem and provide a social circle where they don't feel stigmatized by their condition. Health care professionals also lend a sense of support by giving a name to the condition and offering treatments and strategies to help the patient get symptoms and complications under control.
Some of the most valuable and effective emotional support, however, can come from fellow sufferers who gather in support groups. These groups can be found both on the Internet and through national agencies devoted to this condition. A search on Yahoo! Groups yields more than 100 groups either devoted exclusively to a discussion of rosacea or as part of a larger discussion that includes other topics, such as laser treatments for skin conditions. Another popular source of support is the Rosacea Support Group [source: Rosacea Support Group].
Support groups may connect through e-mail listservs, in which members post questions and comments that are circulated via e-mail, or online communities, where members respond to one another's questions and comments through online bulletin boards. Typically, these online support groups and e-mail listservs allow users to post questions and responses using screen names that preserve anonymity. Through these online support groups, people with rosacea can trade tips about skin care products, diet regimens and medications. Local support groups may also give recommendations about health care professionals in your area who are particularly knowledgeable or helpful, and can provide advice on how to speak to one's doctor about the condition.
One well-known source of support and information for rosacea sufferers and health care providers is the National Rosacea Society. Read on to learn more about this organization.