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How Employers Can Support Workers with Rosacea

Did you know that rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting over 400 million people worldwide, according to the National Rosacea Society?


That is 1 in 10 people in the UK.


It is characterised by redness, visible blood vessels, and bumps or pustules on the face. While the physical symptoms of rosacea can be difficult to manage, the impact of the condition on an individual's mental health and professional life is often overlooked.



So what?

Can you recall an experience where you have been self-conscious about your face?


Perhaps it was teenage acne, or a black eye – most of us will be able to relate to the feeling of wanting to hide, of being ashamed or embarrassed and not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Well, that’s what it can be like for anyone with a visible facial condition like rosacea.


In the workplace, this can lead to a lack of confidence, decreased productivity, and missed opportunities for career advancement. Studies have shown that individuals with visible facial conditions like rosacea are more likely to experience discrimination and negative stereotypes from their coworkers and superiors.


There is an expectation that employers will provide inclusive and safe spaces for work and there are clear benefits to provide support to employees with rosacea or other visible facial conditions, as this can significantly improve their quality of life and work performance.


Top tips for employers

Here are some ways employers can support employees with rosacea:


1. Allow flexible working arrangements:

Depending on the severity of their condition, an employee with rosacea may need to attend regular appointments with a dermatologist or have additional time to manage their skincare routine. Allowing for flexible working arrangements, such as remote working or flexible hours, can make a huge difference.


2. Provide a suitable work environment:

Rosacea can be triggered by various environmental factors, including harsh lighting, air conditioning, and stress. Employers can work with the employee to create a work environment that is conducive to their needs, such as providing anti-glare screens, natural lighting, and a comfortable workspace.


3. Implement an anti-discrimination policy:

Discrimination against employees with a medical condition is illegal, and employers have a duty to ensure that employees are treated fairly and without prejudice. It is important to educate managers and colleagues about rosacea and its impact on employees, and to implement policies that prevent discrimination.


4. Offer support and understanding:

Rosacea can cause significant emotional distress, and it is important for employers to offer support and understanding to their employees. Employers can provide access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or mental health support, and encourage open communication between employees and managers.


5. Provide healthcare support:

Many employees with rosacea require regular visits to a dermatologist or other healthcare providers. Support can include providing health insurance that covers dermatology visits or offering paid time off to attend appointments.


By implementing these steps, employers can create a supportive and inclusive workplace for employees with rosacea, which can improve their overall well-being and work performance. It is important for employers to recognize the impact of rosacea on their employees and take steps to support them, which can ultimately benefit the organisation as a whole.


Further Reading

If you want to learn more, here are some great organisations to read up on the condition.

• National Rosacea Society: https://www.rosacea.org/

• Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada: https://www.rosaceahelp.ca/

• Rosacea Support Group: https://rosacea-support.org/

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