When Cynthia Nixon (the red head on Sex in the City) reached out to me, I was excited. She has rosacea, an embarrassing skin condition. And she asked me to spread the word on what it is, and what to do about it.
When a person is diagnosed with Rosacea, for many it’s a life changing experience. Not only that they have visual signs of this severe skin condition. It is a psychological shock that never lets you go.
Many people with rosacea symptoms go undiagnosed for the better part of their lives. First, it is not a well publisized subject with a wide public awareness of it. Second, the majority does not want to confirm the official diagnose of rosacea. So, they just go on with their lives through extreme inconveniences and low self-esteem issues when it comes to appearing in public with the symptoms glaring and staring at you.
What is Rosacea? The National Institute of Arthritis And Musculosceletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) defines rosacea as:
“Rosacea is a chronic (long-term) disease that affects the skin and sometimes the eyes. The disorder is characterized by redness, pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin. Rosacea usually affects the face. Skin on other parts of the upper body is only rarely involved.”
Women are affected more frequently than men. People with fair skin are more frequent sufferers from this skin condition. And the age group affected the most is 30-60 year-olds.
This disease is debilitating, both physically and emotionally. As NIAMS states, there are over 16 million Americans who suffer from rosacea, but only mere 10% of them have been diagnosed and treated.
As May is the month of Rosacea Awareness facts, the National Rosacea Society and Galderma Laboratories, L.P. joined their efforts to raise public awareness on the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of rosacea.
The award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon, whom we know from the HBO series Sex and the City, is starring in an online public service announcement that triggers our attention to be put on this little-known skin condition.
Celebrate Woman Today joins the fine efforts of the National Rosacea Society and of Cynthia Nixon’s to make rosacea facts known and familiar to as many women out there as possible. If we succeed in our women to learn and be aware of this skin condition, we shall succeed in bringing more smiles and more happy moments to the 16 million Americans out there who need our help today.
I have been very fortunate to have a chance to ask Cynthia Nixon about her personal experience with rosacea and how she’s been dealing with it, being in the public eye and in such an incredibly demanding role of the incredibly popular show. Here’s what Cynthia shared from her heart about this very personal skin condition.
Celebrate Woman Cynthia, what were the first signs that something wrong was happening with your skin? Were you scared?
Cynthia Nixon I first noticed bumps and pimples on my face in my early 30s, but thought it was just a recurrence of the acne I experienced as a teenager, which I wasn’t excited about! I also had a tendency to flush, which would happen at the worst times.
Then, a few years ago, while I was visiting my dermatologist for an unrelated matter, she told me that I had rosacea. Once I learned that I had rosacea, I worked with my dermatologist to come up with a skin care routine that was right for me, which is really the key to managing the condition.
I wish someone would have told me what rosacea was years ago, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it for so long.
Celebrate Woman What are the specific steps you took to take this skin situation under your control?
Cynthia Nixon There are certainly a lot of things that I don’t do or try to avoid since I was diagnosed.
When my doctor told me I had rosacea, I learned that the harsh cleansers and scrubs that I was using on my face were only aggravating my rosacea. I stick with the routine that she advised was right for me, which works for my skin.
I also learned about rosacea triggers, which include red wine, spicy food and hot baths. I’m much more aware of my triggers, especially before a big event or a photo shoot.
Celebrate Woman Can you still live a normal and fulfilling life with rosacea?
Cynthia Nixon Up until 5 years ago, I had no idea why my skin would get so red, I thought it was acne. But it never really went away and flared-up at the worst times. Then I went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with rosacea.
Now I am mindful of my triggers – like red wine, sunshine, stress and hot or cold weather. Rosacea can’t be cured, but it can be managed, and that really helps me feel less self-conscious. I wouldn’t have known about any of this if I hadn’t seen a dermatologist.
Celebrate Woman It is a well known fact that people with certain health conditions are much more likely to stick to the medical procedures and make changes in their lives when they have a solid support group of people. Especially, the people who go through the same thing as they do. Is it important to have a support group for people with rosacea?
Cynthia Nixon Yes. I partnered with the National Rosacea Society to educate people about rosacea and empower them to take control and go to the doctor, because there are prescription treatment options that can help, and without treatment, rosacea may get worse.
I wish that someone would have told me about rosacea 8 years ago, so I wouldn’t have had to deal with it for so long – it would have saved me a lot of time, energy and avoid frustration. I really encourage people to pass along information on rosacea and to check out my public service announcement on RosaceaFacts.com.
Celebrate Woman Any word from your heart to all women who live undiagnosed with this condition?
Cynthia Nixon I think the most important thing to know is if you think you might have rosacea, visit a dermatologist to find out the best prescription treatment option for you. There is a great self-screening quiz on RosaceaFacts.com that can help anyone determine if they have rosacea, and a Physician Finder tool to locate a dermatologist.
Please join us in spreading the word and facts about rosacea.
Help all those 16 millions Americans to find relief they deserve with this skin condition.
Please Retweet this to all of your followers, so they could add their voice to this campaign.
— Celebrate Woman (@DiscoverSelf) May 22, 2012
Celebrate The Power of Public Awareness Today!