Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Rosacea Treatment and You

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 methods 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, changing habits and lifestyle can 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 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 by easing swelling and inflammation 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. These include:

Clindamycin (Cleocin and ClindaMax)
Metronidazole (MetroCream or MetroGel)
Erythromycin (Erygel)
Ivermectin (Soolantra)
Azelaic acid (Azelex and Finacea)
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.

Antibiotic Pills

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), or doxycycline(Vibramycin).

Like any medicine, antibiotics can cause side effects. Treatment is typically long-term, often lasting at least 6 months.

Other Drugs

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.


Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream