How Is Rosacea Treated?


pimples or pustulesRosacea is a skin condition which causes a noticeable flushing and sometimes pimples or pustules. Since it almost always affects the face it can be a source of great embarrassment to the sufferer.

The condition cannot be fully cured as the causes of rosacea haven’t yet been conclusively identified, and there may well be multiple factors which contribute to an individual developing it. But there are a number of treatments available which will at least reduce the symptoms.

Typically, these treatments can take a long time to yield significant results. Often, the sufferer will need to take medication daily for a period of at least six months before their skin starts to improve.

The condition can also improve spontaneously or, conversely, worsen without an apparent cause. It never fully goes away, and once you have rosacea you are at risk of an outbreak of the condition for the rest of your life.

How you treat the condition will depend on the type of rosacea you have and how bad the symptoms are. These are the types of treatment which are currently the most common.

Treating Mild To Moderate Rosacea

The preferred way to treat rosaceaThe preferred way to treat rosacea is with topical treatments (creams and gels which are applied directly to the skin. Rosacea creams are usually only effective if the patient has a mild to moderate inflammatory form, where the sufferer is prone to developing pustules.

If the person does not have any pustules or papules but has reddened skin and flushing then there is very little scientific evidence to support the use of topical creams.

The first treatment a doctor will normally try is metronidazole cream. It can take a very long time to produce any significant improvement, but after around six months the patient should notice a reduction in redness and the number of pustules and lesions they develop.

Side effects are relatively rare with this type of cream, but approximately thirty percent of sufferers will experience some irritation when they apply the product such as stinging or dryness. This effect should be temporary and will subside quickly.

If the patient’s problem is predominantly inflammation and redness rather than pustules then the doctor may opt for azelaic acid based treatments instead. This cream or gel will clear the pores and reduce any redness, but as with other topical treatments it can take a long time to see any real results.

Treating Moderate Inflammatory Rosacea

Doctors tend to prefer to try topical treatments before moving onto oral medications. If the person is suffering from moderate inflammatory rosacea then creams may not be enough to treat the symptoms, and an antibiotic may need to be prescribed to lessen the swelling and flushing of the skin.

Treating Moderate Inflammatory Rosacea

The antibiotics will need to be taken for many weeks or months to improve the condition, and will be used alongside topical creams.

The long term use of antibiotics to treat a condition is not supported by the medical profession, so eventually the doctor will start to lower the dose that the patient is given.

After spending six to twelve weeks weaning the patient off antibiotics, treatment will normally be continued using rosacea creams only.

If the sufferer’s skin condition starts to deteriorate then the doctor may prescribe low doses of doxycycline, which can be used as an oral treatment in conjunction with topical creams.

Treating Vascular Rosacea

Although inflammatory rosacea is the more common type, some people suffer from a form known as vascular rosacea. This type of rosacea does not tend to included papules or pustules as one of the symptoms.

suffer from flushing, facial rednessInstead, the person will just suffer from flushing, facial redness and thread veins (visible blood vessels). Vascular rosacea cannot be treated with topical creams, so a doctor may refer the patient to a dermatologist to discuss the possibility of laser treatment.

Laser treatment targets visible blood vessels and the heat will diminish the size of the red veins. There is no damage to surrounding tissue, and the treatment will reduce the overall flushing of the face. Side effects are typically mild, but may include bruising and temporary irritation.

If you have rosacea, your doctor can advise you on which is the best form of treatment for you.


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