For the estimated 8 million Canadians affected by acne and rosacea, the announcement today of the launch of a new, national, not for profit organization led by dermatologists, the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada, offers hope and help.

“Despite being common conditions, it is hard for Canadians to find accurate, relevant and up-to-date information on acne and rosacea,” according to Dr. Jason Rivers, a Vancouver dermatologist and president of the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada.

Since acne and rosacea appear mostly on the face and affect appearance, there can be significant emotional distress in addition to the visible physical signs. There may also be permanent skin damage such as scarring.

There are safe and effective treatments for both acne and rosacea. The main barrier to getting improvement is knowledge and awareness.

“Our role is to provide independent, reputable information to Canadians with acne and rosacea and to raise awareness with goal of improving lives,” he added.

The society has created two separate awareness campaigns – Acne Action and Rosacea Help. The Acne Action program is the first to kickoff. A new website, www.AcneAction.ca, offers extensive information including signs of acne, types, when to see a doctor, skincare and treatments.

“There are young Canadians today, and some adults too, who are suffering the physical and emotional effects of acne,” said Dr. Rivers.

“We urge you to forget decades-old misguided beliefs like ‘you just have to get through it’ or ‘nothing can be done about it’. Get the facts, take action and get acne under control,” he added.

Some acne facts:
• Acne affects 90% of teens and is their #1 skin health concern.
• Acne affects people of all ethnic groups.
• Up to 1 in 5 women in Canada suffer from adult acne.
• 3 in 10 acne sufferers develop moderate acne. Medical treatment is usually needed due to the severity and the risk of scarring.
• Up to 20% of teens, or 1 in 5, get scarring on the face due to acne.
• The rate of depression in acne patients is high at 10%.
• Almost all acne can be successfully treated.
• Outlook improves as acne improves.
• Acne scarring is preventable in most cases