Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Inside an Encore resort ballroom, the focus was on "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon during a panel about rosacea in front of a group of dermatologists on Thursday.
Nixon shared her experiences battling the facial skin condition. She divulged details about how she thought the reddish inflammation on her cheeks was the return of the troublesome acne that plagued her as a teen. Instead, it turned out to be rosacea, which impacts millions of men and women.
“I feel like my story is typical,” Nixon told the dermatologists. “I thought I knew what the problem was and that I was taking the right steps, but really, I was taking all the wrong steps.”
Nixon headlined the “Face to Face with Rosacea” panel at the Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference. Dermatologists and Rosacea experts Dr. Hilary Baldwin and Dr. Julie Harper, along with psychologist David Sarwer, joined Nixon on the panel.
While Nixon’s story wasn’t uncommon, Sarwer said the actress offers a chance to raise awareness about the issue.
“It's really courageous for her to do this and share her story,” Sarwer said. “It would be easier for her to keep it silent, but one of the big parts of the campaign is to remind patients that they don’t have to suffer in silence with rosacea.”
Harper said the Las Vegas conference, which draws several hundred dermatologists from across the country, was the perfect springboard to spread the word about rosacea. The skin condition can make a person’s cheeks turn rosy and often looks like acne. It affects more than 16 million people across the U.S.
“This is the biggest dermatologist conference in the country,” Harper said. “It’s automatically a good pool of people to get their attention in a setting like this.”
The panel discussed both how to treat rosacea and its psychological impact on sufferers, while Nixon shared her own experiences and concerns.
At the end, a winding line of dermatologists waited to have their picture taken with Nixon. Dermatologist Dr. Robert Davis of Napa, Calif., waited in the line with his wife. He heard the panel, but now he was just excited to meet the star.
“It was great to hear her on the panel. (My wife) and I always watch ("Sex and the City") and we didn’t know she had it,” Davis said. “Her speaking out about it is helpful for other patients.”