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What is the Butterfly Effect in Rosacea?


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The logo of the RRDi includes a butterfly because rosacea typically manifests itself in a facial butterfly formation. "Half a century ago, Edward Lorenz, SM ‘43, ScD ‘48, overthrew the idea of the clockwork universe with his ground-breaking research on chaos." [1]  Lorenz created an analogy with the flapping wings of a butterfly what beautifully describes how the initial conditions may create an effect not imagined. What are the initial conditions with the result in rosacea chaos?

Victor Gabriel's Butterfly Effect in Acne and Rosacea
A paper written in 2018 by Victor Gabriel, et al., discusses the '
butterfly effect' not only in rosacea but also in acne. The concept of the butterfly effect "is associated with chaos theory, and it is a concept originated in meteorology, which represents the dependence on initial conditions." [2]

"The butterfly effect (in chaos theory) represents the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, that is, a very small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system is associated with large differences in a later state." [2]

Initial Conditions in Rosacea May Help Explain the Rosacea Chaos
"Acne and Rosacea are chronic inflammatory skin diseases with an increasing frequency and an important negative impact on the quality of life, which are associated with a large number of false myths regarding causes and treatment." [2]

The butterfly effect psychologically may have a profound result in finding a cure for rosacea considering the initial mental conditions (scroll below to the subheading, Butterfly Effect in Psychology). 

False Myths and Misconceptions 
"Acne represents the most common diagnosis made by dermatologists, and unfortunately, a common misconception among medical and lay communities is that acne is a self-limited teenage disease and thus, it deserves not the same attention as that paid to a chronic disease." [2] Actually, "acne occurs very frequently in adulthood." [2]

Similarly it could be said about rosacea that it is a 'cosmetic' issue that doesn't deserve serious medical attention, a common misconception.  

"Misunderstanding and misinformation is associated with the beliefs that poor hygiene, hormones, diet, cosmetics, infection or stress are the factors that exacerbate acne in teenagers. Patients use ”acne treatments” (cleansers, acne pads, masks, cover-up products, acne lotions, etc.) before seeking medical attention. It was reported that 74% of such patients waited more than 1 year before medical consultation." [2]

Similarly, it was reported in one large survey conducted by Galderma that it took on "average, women with rosacea waited at least seven months before receiving a correct diagnosis." [3]

Butterfly Effect in the Underrepresentation of Women
The butterfly effect may explain why "the persistent underrepresentation of women is more likely to reflect unconscious bias, unequal family responsibilities, and gender stereotypes" in the economic gender gap. [4] 

240px-Lorenz_attractor_yb.svg.png
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Edward Lorenz's Butterfly Effect
Edward Lorenz, a MIT meteorology professor who proposed the 'butterfly effect' which has become popular in movies never envisioned that this would create so much attention. American Scientist explains, "The purpose of his provocative question, he said, was to illustrate the idea that some complex dynamical systems exhibit unpredictable behaviors such that small variances in the initial conditions could have profound and widely divergent effects on the system’s outcomes. Because of the sensitivity of these systems, outcomes are unpredictable. This idea became the basis for a branch of mathematics known as chaos theory, which has been applied in countless scenarios since its introduction." [5]

“And the butterfly effect, also known as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions,” has a profound corollary: forecasting the future can be nearly impossible.” [1]

Butterfly Effect in Rosacea
Gabriel explains the butterfly effect in rosacea is based upon the 'initial conditions' that are 'associated with a large number of false myths regarding causes and treatment.' Gabriel explains, "From the authors’ point of view, “the butterfly effect” associated with Acne and Rosacea is represented by education about these chronic inflammatory skin diseases, with emphasis on myths and skin care, because the power of false myths keep patients away from medical care; also, correct and individualized skin care is associated with a better adherence to treatment and results." [2] 

An example of a 'false myth' in rosacea initial conditions is the belief that rosacea progresses in stages which has been debunked. Another example is the common belief that mites cannot transfer from pets to humans

Butterfly Effect in Inflammation
"We hypothesize that low-grade inflammation in early life (especially an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophages) triggers a "butterfly effect" within the arterial wall by initiating a sequence of processes that finally leads to atherosclerotic plaque development and progression." [6]

Butterfly Effect in Popular Culture
"The journalist Peter Dizikes, writing in The Boston Globe in 2008, notes that popular culture likes the idea of the butterfly effect, but gets it wrong. Whereas Lorenz suggested correctly with his butterfly metaphor that predictability 'is inherently limited', popular culture supposes that each event can be explained by finding the small reasons that caused it. Dizikes explains: "It speaks to our larger expectation that the world should be comprehensible – that everything happens for a reason, and that we can pinpoint all those reasons, however small they may be. But nature itself defies this expectation." [7]

Butterfly Effect in Healthcare Systems
“When we look at the growing diversity of the populations our healthcare systems serve, we must ask ourselves this question: “What systemic by-product of yesterday is limiting our understanding of organizational needs today, pre-empting our competitive advantage?" The report concluded that, “the underestimated importance of diversity among healthcare leaders and care providers across the industry has limited our capacity for greater success.” [8]

Butterfly Effect in Psychology
"Recently, meterologists made a startling discovery about monarch butterflies—a discovery for which they have no explanation. Monarchs migrate in a gigantic cluster that forms the shape of a butterfly. The implications of this discovery are startling. Could it be that, like small fish, the monarchs gather together to form a large group that looks like a very large, inedible, butterfly? If this is the case, like small fish, butterflies have a sense of their identity. What is the message for us? If fish and butterflies unite for safety in numbers, surely humans have the same ability; but, instead, we divide ourselves into myriad groups that take precedence over our humanity. We need to relearn that to survive, we have to be united. With the butterfly effect, we can be." [9]

Butterfly Effect with Rosacea Research
This is an important butterfly effect to consider for rosaceans. The above paper [9] emphasizes the need for rosaceans to unite in a patient advocacy non profit organization group to find the cure for rosacea. Dividing off into different social media private groups or forums is counter productive. Read the RRDi Mission Statement. If we could get enough rosaceans to unite into a giant butterfly with 10K members and each donated one dollar we could sponsor our own rosacea research. That would be an incredible butterfly effect. The next two subheadings further emphasize this. 

The Butterfly Effect in Groups
"The corollary of the Butterfly Effect is that tiny changes you make do in fact make a difference." [10]

A similar point is made by Tasha Wahl who is an artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur who formed the Wahl Foundation. Watch this one minute video: 

Butterfly Effect in What Really Counts

Butterfly Effect with One Dollar
So whether you believe in the butterfly effect that one random act can change the outcome of a much larger system of events, the RRDi appeals to you with our one dollar donation financial post. Can you donate one dollar for the RRDi butterfly to keep flying? Your one dollar would beautifully validate our butterfly logo as well as have a small part in the butterfly effect.  Or buy one of our RRDi Tee Shirts with our butterfly logo on the front. 

Butterfly Effect in Disaster Scenarios Training Software
"Similar to the famed "butterfly effect" in weather patterns -- the notion that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in California can have an impact on weather in China -- the disaster scenario evolves as participants make decisions. [11]

Butterfly Effect in Creating Forms
"In my job at JotForm, I sieve through forms built by our users almost every day, and I see first-hand what a difference a small decision can make. I’m often struck, for instance, by how tiny oversights can lead to significantly lowered conversion rates." [12]

The Real Butterfly Effect
"Historical evidence is reviewed to show that what Ed Lorenz meant by the iconic phrase 'the butterfly effect' is not at all captured by the notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in low-order chaos. Rather, as presented in his 1969 Tellus paper, Lorenz intended the phrase to describe the existence of an absolute finite-time predicability barrier in certain multi-scale fluid systems, implying a breakdown of continuous dependence on initial conditions for large enough forecast lead times. To distinguish from 'mere' sensitive dependence, the effect discussed in Lorenz's Tellus paper is referred to as 'the real butterfly effect'. Theoretical evidence for such a predictability barrier in a fluid described by the three-dimensional Navier–Stokes equations is discussed. Whilst it is still an open question whether the Navier–Stokes equation has this property, evidence from both idealized atmospheric simulators and analysis of operational weather forecasts suggests that the real butterfly effect exists in an asymptotic sense, i.e. for initial-time atmospheric perturbations that are small in scale and amplitude compared with (weather) scales of interest, but still large in scale and amplitude compared with variability in the viscous subrange. Despite this, the real butterfly effect is an intermittent phenomenon in the atmosphere, and its presence can be signalled a priori, and hence mitigated, by ensemble forecast methods." [13] 

The question, 'Is the Butterfly Effect Real?' is an interesting discussion amongst physicists in a blog. One answered this question 'almost certainly' while another answered, 'perhaps.'  [14]

End Notes

[1] When the Butterfly Effect Took Flight, Peter Dizikes, MIT News magazine, Technology Review

[2] Maedica (Buchar). 2018 Jun; 13(2): 89–94.
Butterfly Effect – the Concept and the Implications in Dermatology, Acne, and Rosacea
Victor Gabriel, Francesca Satolli, Alin Laurentiu Tatatui, Cristiana Voicu, Ana Maria Veronica Draganita, Torello Lotti

[3] "The results, which are part of the national educational campaign Rosacea SKINsights sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, also reveal the lengths that women with rosacea would go to if they could get rid of their rosacea forever, and highlight the low awareness and complicated diagnosis path for this common condition. On average, women with rosacea waited at least seven months before receiving a correct diagnosis, and only half of respondents had ever heard of the condition upon the time of diagnosis. This reveals the high level of misunderstanding and confusion that surrounds rosacea, a chronic disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions."

New Survey Reveals First Impressions May Not Always Be Rosy For People With The Widespread Skin Condition Rosacea, Medical News Today, 5 Apr 2010

[4] JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Dec 7;1(8):e186053. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6053.
The Butterfly Effect in the Economic Gender Gap in Academia.
Frangou S.

[5] Understanding the Butterfly Effect
BY JAMIE L. VERNON, American Scientist

[6] Med Hypotheses. 2019 Jan;122:106-110. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2018.10.026. Epub 2018 Oct 30.
Early-life inflammation pathways trigger a cascade leading to development of atherosclerotic plaque through the "butterfly effect" - An hypothesis.
Kowara M, Kasarełło K, Czarzasta K, Opolski G, Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska A.

[7] Butterfly effect, Wikipedia

[8] J Healthc Manag. 2019 Sep-Oct;64(5):265-271. doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-19-00152.
The Butterfly Effect in Healthcare: What Happens When an Organization Tackles Unconscious Bias and Promotes Diversity of Thought?
Sadau EW, Capeles T.

[9] What Does the Butterfly Effect Offer You?
What matters most? The surprising answer, Elisabeth Pearson Waugarman, PhD, Psychology Today

[10] The Butterfly Effect and the Environment: How Tiny Actions Can Save the World, Brian Clark, copyblogger

[11] Butterfly Effect, BY SHANE PETERSON / AUGUST 3, 2004, Government Technology

[12] The butterfly effect: how small changes make a huge difference, by Anil Ozsoy, JotForm

[13] Nonlinearity, Volume 27, Number 9
The real butterfly effect
T N Palmer, A Döring and G Seregin

[14] Is the butterfly effect real?, Physics StackExchange

 

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An article published by the Vice Media Group written by Carly Minsky, Scientists Have Shown There's No 'Butterfly Effect' in the Quantum World, in discussing quantum computers had this to say about the butterfly effect: 

"New research in quantum physics from Los Alamos National Laboratory has shown that the so-called butterfly effect can be overcome in the quantum realm in order to “unscramble” lost information by essentially reversing time."

"What this means is that a quantum system can effectively heal and even recover information that was scrambled in the past, without the chaos of the butterfly effect."

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