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Is rosacea a disease or a condition?

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I just ran across something that was new to me, that rosacea is a condition, not a disease (like acne is a condition and acne vulgaris is the disease). The source of this new thought to me was in an article entitled, The Proposed Inflammatory Pathophysiology of Rosacea, by Medscape from WebMD. However I have seen in many articles that rosacea is a disease, such as this recent quote in an article just released, "Rosacea is a common and chronic disorder characterized by flushing, erythema, papules, pustules, and telangiectasia on the central part of the face. Because the facial skin of individuals with rosacea is particularly sensitive, irritants can trigger a worsening of the signs and symptoms of the disease," written by Laquieze, et al, .

If rosacea is considered a condition rather than a disease, what would the correct term be for the disease?

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I just ran across something that was new to me, that rosacea is a condition, not a disease (like acne is a condition and acne vulgaris is the disease). The source of this new thought to me was in an article entitled, The Proposed Inflammatory Pathophysiology of Rosacea, by Medscape from WebMD. However I have seen in many articles that rosacea is a disease, such as this recent quote in an article just released, "Rosacea is a common and chronic disorder characterized by flushing, erythema, papules, pustules, and telangiectasia on the central part of the face. Because the facial skin of individuals with rosacea is particularly sensitive, irritants can trigger a worsening of the signs and symptoms of the disease," written by Laquieze, et al, .

If rosacea is considered a condition rather than a disease, what would the correct term be for the disease?

The word "disease" sounds ominous to most laypeople......so, I suppose that I favor the word "condition" to describe rosacea. Having said that, I have no quarrel with anyone who wants to call rosacea an "infectious disease" or an "inflammatory disease" or a hormonally mediated "disease." Most words of this type in medicine rooted in latin from thousands of years ago do not have precise definitions!

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From: Sandra Cremers, M.D.

Subject: RE: Rosacea Research & Development Institute Questions

Date: July 1, 2007 2:55:17 PM HST

To: Brady Barrows

Hi Brady,

Good questions. I'll leave #2 to the derm experts.

The terms disease & condition are often used interchangeably in the literature.

By definition, disease is:

A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.

Rosacea does classify as a disease for this reason. Purists would say that a true disease applies to any condition that impairs the normal functioning of an organism or body. Technically most types of early rosacea do not do this as a rule. Advance ocular rosacea though does.

Hope this helps.

SLC

From: Marianne Boes, Ph.D.

Subject: Re: Rosacea Research & Development Institute Questions

Date: July 1, 2007 3:43:38 PM HST

To: Brady Barrows

Question 1: this is semantics: disease, affliction or condition all refer to the same meaning.

Question 2: sorry, as I am a PhD, not MD, I can not answer why phycisians choose one or another treatment.

Best, Marianne Boes

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