Severe Rosacea Associated With High Out-of-Pocket Treatment Costs

A significant relationship was observed between disease severity and household income, with patients with higher levels of disease severity having lower household incomes.

Familiarization with evidence-based clinical recommendations and consensus guidelines may help equip physicians to educate their patients with rosacea regarding the most efficacious, cost-effective treatment options available, according to the results gathered from use of a validated self-assessment tool to document the severity of rosacea and to inquire into expenditures related to rosacea therapy. The results of this analysis were published in Dermatologic Clinics.

The recalcitrant nature of rosacea to various treatments may encourage patients to spend exorbitant amounts of money on unsubstantiated treatment regimens in an effort to attain relief of symptoms. The investigators sought to examine the relationship between disease severity and treatment costs across several demographic and socioeconomic strata among patients with rosacea.  

A total of 478 adult patients with rosacea met study criteria, with surveys ultimately mailed to 412 patients. In all, 195 surveys were completed and analyzed. All of the survey respondents completed a validated self-assessment tool, in which patients selected images that corresponded with the severity of their symptoms. Among the categories included were erythema, papulopustular lesions, ocular symptoms, and nasal involvement. Scores on the self-assessment tool ranged from 2 (the least severe) to 8 (the most severe). Participants also responded to questions regarding out-of-pocket treatment costs associated with rosacea.

Among survey respondents, a significant relationship was reported between disease severity and amount of monthly expenditures on rosacea treatments (P =.013). The highest mean amount spent by patients was among those with severity levels 6 and 7. A significant relationship was also observed between disease severity and household income, with patients with higher levels of disease severity having lower household incomes (P <.0001). 

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The investigators concluded that it is critical for patients with rosacea to receive the most efficacious treatments available. Future studies that examine individual benefits and assess rosacea severity among those with similar insurance plans might help inform the need for better coverage options, particularly if increased rosacea severity prevails among lower income households.


Turbeville JG, Alinia H, Tuchayi SM, et al. Patient costs associated with rosacea.  Dermatol Clin. 2018;36(2):167-170.