Mask wearing can be a double-edged sword for people with rosacea. On one hand, masks can cover up the skin condition. But wearing a mask can make the skin problem worse.
Galderma is shining a light on the problem with a new social media campaign, #RosaceaUnmasked. The awareness ads launched on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook during April which is Rosacea Awareness Month, featuring posts by influencers in the community.
The initiative encourages people to share their experiences with mask wearing and rosacea—and to post mask-on and mask-off selfies. The new campaign is also tied to Galderma’s online “Face up to Rosacea” effort, which encourages patients to face up to the seriousness of and facts about the condition.
For healthcare professionals, Galderma is hosting a four-part medical education series, “Unmasking Facial Skin and Dermatoses,” featuring experts from around the world and highlighting the effect of COVID-19 mask wearing on skin health for both acne and rosacea sufferers.
The skin-focused pharma is also planning influencer summits with HCPs to foster patient and physician discussions about the effects of mask wearing on people with rosacea.
“We’re featuring dermatology experts from around the world because this is a topic that will still be discussed among dermatologists over the coming months for sure. It’s not going to go away in a couple of days or weeks,” said Marc Welz, global head of Galderma’s rosacea business.
A recent Galderma survey found that 63% of rosacea sufferers said wearing a mask worsened their condition, 52% used masks to hide their rosacea and 40% said they went out less so they could avoid wearing masks. The company conducted the online survey with 220 rosacea patients in Canada and Germany.
As with many other conditions, the pandemic caused people with rosacea to skip doctor visits—only 33% have visited a doctor or dermatologist in person since the pandemic began and only 8% had video consultations.
Meanwhile, more than half (51%) of those who said they changed how they managed their skin condition during the pandemic switched to non-prescription products, while only 27% received new doctor-prescribed treatments.
“Our goal is to convince patients to re-consult with a dermatologist,” Welz said. “We’re saying that essential mask wearing is important, but it can aggravate the symptoms of rosacea.”
While the campaigns are unbranded, Galderma is heavily invested the treatment of rosacea with a portfolio of meds including Oracea capsules for adult rosacea and topical treatments Mirvaso Gel and Soolantra Cream.