Cynthia Nixon urges rosacea sufferers to 'Act on Red' in new health campaign

  • Latest psychological research reveals rosacea redness creates negative first impressions putting sufferers at a disadvantage
  • Rosacea remains under-diagnosed, yet diagnosis is a critical first step to better symptom control

THORNHILL, ON, June 18 2014 /CNW/ - Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon today spoke out about her experience of rosacea in support of 'Act on Red', a new global disease awareness program urging fellow sufferers to seek help for their condition. The awareness program, supported by leading dermatologists, launched today alongside new research data from the Face Values: Global Perceptions Survey.

The survey shows how the lives of people with facial redness associated with rosacea are affected by the condition, as well as how other people perceive them.  Results show:

  • Facial redness affects sufferers emotionally (77%), socially (67%), at work (63%) and in their relationships/dating behaviour (53%).
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people with facial redness agree it embarrasses them, with 56% indicating that flare-ups cause most embarrassment when they had a business meeting, presentation or job interview.

Nearly half (46%) of all people with facial redness associated with rosacea believe their redness changes others' perceptions of them and the survey findings confirmed their fears - overall, first impressions were more negative for faces with redness. As it might be expected, the physical attributes of facial redness were directly linked to sufferers being more likely to be perceived as sick, tired, unhealthy, and stressed.

However, respondents also formed judgments about sufferers' personalities. Those with facial redness were less frequently perceived as intelligent, reliable, successful and trustworthy compared to people without redness.  They were also judged less likely to be in a relationship, less likely to be in a professional job and less likely to be hired for work.  These results align with psychological studies that show that a single glance of a face is enough for people to make automatic judgements, including an array of social assumptions about their personality and other traits.1

Facial redness is a common and persistent symptom of rosacea, a treatable skin condition known to affect over 2 million Canadians and around 40 million people worldwide2. Sufferers have a characteristic pattern of persistent redness with intermittent flushing on the forehead, chin, cheeks and lower half of the nose, often accompanied by a burning or stinging sensation, and started or exacerbated by particular triggers.

Cynthia Nixon was in her 30's when she first experienced facial redness and rosacea symptoms that were often triggered by spicy foods, red wine and hot baths. Several years later she was eventually diagnosed with rosacea after a visit to her dermatologist for an unrelated matter. Lending her personal support to Act on Red, Cynthia commented: "We all want to make a good first impression and, not surprisingly, skin appearance can play a key part in how you feel and how others perceive you". Reflecting on her own experience she continues: "My facial redness used to affect my confidence on set and at big social occasions and I struggled to manage what I thought was a recurrence of acne, like I had when I was a teenager. So it was a relief when my dermatologist told me I had rosacea as it has transformed the way I can manage my symptoms and better understand my triggers. Rosacea might always be on your mind but it doesn't have to be on your face. Programs, such as Act on Red, are important to help people recognise their symptoms and get the professional help they need."

The Face Values survey also showed that diagnosed rosacea sufferers are twice as likely (39% vs. 20%) to have their symptoms under control, yet under-diagnosis remains a significant barrier with approximately only one in ten sufferers receiving a formal diagnosis from a doctor or dermatologist.3

Commenting on the results, Dr. David Adam, a leading dermatologist in Toronto said, "Patients cannot hide from facial redness, it is there for everyone to see – this leads to embarrassment and patients being incredibly self-conscious.  The global survey results highlight just how common the facial redness issue is for rosacea sufferers and reinforces that there are options to help patients take control of their symptoms."

For further information please visit

Notes to Editors

About the Face Values: Global Perceptions Survey
The global research was conducted by Bryter, an independent market research consultancy. The fieldwork was conducted online, between 31 October and 18 November 2013 in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Sweden and the UK. 6,831 adults aged between 25 and 64 years took part; 800 respondents reported being affected by facial redness associated with rosacea. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of each audience. The survey was funded by Galderma S.A.

The Emotix© test, developed by Innovation Bubble's behavioural psychologists, and based on the Implicit Association Test, was used to expose respondents' subconscious emotions and reduce bias. Respondents were shown photographs of faces randomly, with and without facial redness, and were asked if they associated certain words with each image.

About Galderma Canada Inc.

Galderma Canada is committed to delivering innovative medical solutions to meet the dermatological needs of people throughout their lifetime while serving healthcare professionals.  Our product portfolio includes prescription, therapeutic skin and medical dermatology solutions aimed at treating skin diseases with a focus on: acne, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and non-melanoma skin cancer.  Our therapeutic skincare line is recommended by healthcare professionals for sensitive or disease compromised skin.


  1. Mende-Siedlecki P et al. The social evaluation of faces: a meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci (2012) doi:10.1093/scan/nsr090.
  2. Shanler S, Ondo A. Successful treatment of the erythema and flushing of rosacea using a topically applied selective a1 adrenergic receptor agonist, oxymetazoline [abstract taken from J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58(2):AB9]. Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology 66th Annual Meeting; February 1-5, 2008; San Antonio, TX.
  3. Data on file. Galderma S.A. Face Values: Global Perceptions Survey. 2013.
  4. Data on file. Galderma Market Research.

Video with caption: "Video: Cynthia Nixon of Sex and The City fame speaks about her experience with rosacea". Video available at:

Image with caption: "Rosacea in Canada Infographic (CNW Group/Galderma Canada Inc.)". Image available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: Galderma Canada Inc.

For further information: Jennifer Runza,, 416-319-0014; Galderma Canada Inc., 905-762-2500, 1-800-467-2081

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