There are many ways to keep rosacea under control. Though rosacea can't be cured, treatment can help you control symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. Some things you can do on your own, like avoiding triggers. Other things include skin creams, medication, and laser treatments.
Avoiding Your Rosacea Triggers
To keep rosacea under control, learn what your triggers are. Use a symptom diary to keep track.
When you find a pattern to your rosacea flare-ups, change your habits and lifestyle to prevent problems.
Rosacea Medications and Skin Treatments
Your treatment will depend on the type of rosacea you have. Most of these creams and oral medications help the most in people with papulopustular rosacea. That's where symptoms include small pimples, facial flushing, and tiny red lines on the cheeks.
These treatments may still be used in people with other types of rosacea, but they may not help as much. And even if they work and your symptoms go away, you might keep taking it to stop further flare-ups. Your doctor may also combine a few drugs or creams.
Antibiotics are a common rosacea treatment, but not because bacteria cause rosacea. Instead, antibiotics may help rosacea symptoms by easing swelling and relieving the pimple-like skin problems you may have.
Rosacea Treatment Options
Creams and Gels
Your doctor might start treatment with a prescription cream or gel you use on your face once or twice a day. Topical metronidazole (MetroCream or MetroGel) is an antibiotic cream and a common rosacea treatment. Other antibiotic creams include clindamycin (Cleocin and Clinda-Derm) and erythromycin (Emgel and Erygel).
Brimonidine (Mirvaso) may also ease the redness of rosacea.
Your doctor may recommend azelaic acid (Azelex and Finacea) and sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur (Clenia and Plexion).
Tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A), a retinoid, is used in some hard-to-treat cases.
These treatments have side effects, like skin irritation. A few are not safe for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about any risks.
If your rosacea is more serious or doesn't respond to ointments, your doctor might suggest antibiotic pills, though you might keep using skin creams, too. Antibiotic pills may also be used if you have ocular rosacea.
Your doctor might try minocycline (Dynacin), erythromycin (ERYC), metronidazole (Flagyl), and doxycycline (Vibramycin.)
Like any medicine, antibiotics can cause side effects. Treatment is typically long-term, often lasting at least 6 months.
If these rosacea treatments don't work, your doctor may try other medicines, such as isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, and Sotret). But because of serious side effects, it's not used often.