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Galderma unites rosacea sufferers from around the globe in an empowering social media awareness movement: #RosaceaUnmasked

Rosacea is a skin disease that affects an estimated 415 million people worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic has made mask-wearing essential in many parts of the world, but for those suffering with rosacea – a skin disease affecting an estimated 415 million people worldwide – mask-wearing can bring additional challenges by exacerbating rosacea symptoms.

As part of Galderma’s commitment to continuing conversations around the true burden of rosacea, Galderma has united rosacea sufferers from around the globe in an empowering social media awareness movement: #RosaceaUnmasked. Led by top online rosacea patient advocates, the campaign brings the rosacea community together during these challenging times to share experiences of essential mask-wearing by posting mask-on and mask-off selfies on social media.

Although mask-wearing is essential for public health, findings from Galderma’s recent online survey of rosacea patients, involving 220 respondents* from Canada and Germany, reveal that almost two thirds (63%) are experiencing worsening symptoms related to mask-wearing, including redness (75%), pimples and/or pustules (72%) and more flare-ups (53%). Despite worsening symptoms, more than half (52%) of the people surveyed admitted to using mask-wearing to hide their disease and 40% say they go out less often in order to avoid wearing a mask.

Texas-based rosacea sufferer Kristin Moras (@KristinMoras), said: “During these challenging times, it is important that we highlight both the visible and non-visible impacts of essential COVID-19 mask-wearing on rosacea. For many sufferers, myself included, rosacea is more than just a visible skin disease – it’s a constant daily struggle.”

The online survey also showed that nearly half (48%) of respondents have changed how they manage their disease since mask-wearing. More concerning, 51% of those who switched treatments tried a non-prescription product while only 27% received new treatment prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. Additionally, only a third (33%) of respondents had visited their doctor or dermatologist in person since the pandemic began and only 8% have had a video consultation. Of those who had not booked an appointment, 47% stated they had not wanted to book an appointment, while 21% had been unable to book one.

Aliene Noda, Global Medical Franchise Lead, Rosacea and Dermato-Oncology, Global Business unit for Prescription Medicine, Galderma, said: “Galderma is committed to gathering insights that enable us to tailor our approach to better support the needs of those patients with rosacea and help improve clinical outcomes in this often under-prioritised disease area. With just a third of rosacea sufferers surveyed booking an appointment with their doctor or dermatologist during the pandemic, there is a huge cause for concern. Our survey suggests that more patients may be self-treating which could mean they are using products that are not specifically tailored for their skin disease. This could, ultimately, do more harm than good.”

Galderma recently announced the launch of its Excellence in Multichannel Medical Education (GEMME) webinar platform, kick-starting with a four-part webinar series: Unmasking Facial Skin & Dermatoses. Running every three weeks from 8 May to 10 July 2021, this event offers a unique opportunity to gain expert insights and exchange knowledge on the impact of essential COVID-19 mask-wearing on skin health, including for acne and rosacea sufferers. Registration for the webinar series is free and can be accessed by healthcare professionals at: https://www.gemme-unmasking-webinars.events

Prof. Jerry Tan, webinar series Chair and Adjunct Professor, Western University, Ontario, Canada, commented: “This webinar series will support healthcare providers in tackling issues arising from essential mask-wearing on skin health in clinical practice. It will help to address patient needs and raise interest in the development of new guidelines and research. There is a lot of knowledge to be gained from the current pandemic, including how to mitigate the consequences of mask-wearing on facial skin diseases. We are excited to share our knowledge and learnings with the healthcare community to support ongoing improvement in patient outcomes.”

*Based on a self-administered survey of email subscribers to www.faceuptorosacea.com and www.stelldichdeinerrosacea.de that was conducted from December 2020 to January 2021. 87% of respondents stated that they had a rosacea diagnosis from a healthcare provider. 13% believe that they have rosacea but had not yet been diagnosed.

Galderma SA is a Swiss pharmaceutical company specialising in dermatological treatments and skin care products

20th May 2021

From: Research, Marketing

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