New Treatment Soothes Rosacea Outbreaks

Finacea Gel Reduces Rosecea's Redness Better Than Acne Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 17, 2003
From the WebMD Archives

Nov. 17, 2003 -- A new gel specifically formulated to ease the skin irritation caused by rosacea works better than a popular acne gel commonly used in rosacea treatment.

New research shows that Finacea gel, which was approved by the FDA in January for rosacea treatment, reduces the redness and lesions associated with rosacea better than Metrogel.

Rosacea (pronounced row-ZAY-shuh) is a chronic skin condition that results in red, flaky patches on the nose and cheeks and occasional pimple-like lesions on the skin. About 14 million Americans have rosacea, and the condition usually strikes adults between the ages of 30 and 60.

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, antimicrobial skin creams and gels that kill bacteria are often used in treating acne are also frequently used in treating the skin irritation associated with rosacea.

New Gel Eases Rosacea

Both Metrogel and Finacea are antimicrobial skin gels, but they have different active ingredients. Financea contains 15% azelaic acid, and Metrogel contains 0.75% metronidazole gel.

In this study, published in the November issue of The Archives of Dermatology, researchers compared the two treatments in 251 adults with rosacea. Each patient used either Finacea or Metrogel twice a day for 15 weeks.

The study showed that Financea was better than Metrogel at reducing the number of acne-like lesions associated with rosacea. In addition, 56% of Finacea users experienced a reduction in redness compared with 42% of Metrogel users.

Researchers also found that the effectiveness of Metrogel seemed to plateau after eight weeks of use, but patients using Finacea experienced continuous improvement over 15 weeks.

Researcher Boni E. Elewski, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues say the findings show that Finacea might be an effective long-term treatment for rosacea, and more research in this area is needed.

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SOURCES: Elewski, B. The Archives of Dermatology, November 2003; vol 139: pp 1444-1450. WebMD Medical News: "Acne Drug OK for Rosacea." WebMD Feature: "Rosacea ... More Than a Red Face."

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