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American Academy of Dermatology: Acne and Rosacea Got You Seeing Red? Patients with Skin of Color Advised to Seek Proper Diagnosis, Treatment to Prevent Common Side Effects
Date:7/30/2008

in people of European descent, particularly those of Celtic origin. However, Dr. Callender pointed out that rosacea can occur in people of all skin types.

"Traditionally, rosacea has been overlooked and underreported in patients of color," said Dr. Callender. "In fact, while there are 14 million Americans affected by rosacea, the incidence of the condition in skin of color has not been reported. To address this lack of epidemiological data, a multi-center study looking at the incidence of rosacea in this population is being initiated. We think the data will show that rosacea is clearly an equal-opportunity condition that should not be overlooked in skin of color."

One problem associated with rosacea in patients of color is post-inflammatory hypopigmentation, or lightening of the skin, that can occur simultaneously with redness. In some cases, these patients also may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin. Dr. Callender also noted that rosacea is often misdiagnosed in patients of color, as clinicians may mistake the signs and symptoms of the condition for lupus -- a systemic, autoimmune condition that commonly occurs as a "butterfly rash" involving the face.

"Dermatologists can recognize the nuances that distinguish rosacea from lupus in skin of color, which is why it is very important for patients to see a dermatologist for the proper diagnosis and treatment," explained Dr. Callender. "Some medications prescribed for lupus, such as prednisone, can make rosacea worse, so a misdiagnosis can really delay the road to recovery."

Rosacea triggers, such as sunlight, heat or high temperatures, certain beverages, stress, and spicy foods, are the same for patients of all skin types. Since the skin is so sensitive in rosacea patients, Dr. Callender advised patients -- including those with skin of color -- to practice proper sun protection year-round, including applying broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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