Rosacea Treatment

Rosacea can't be cure, but can be controlled. Using your medications faithfully can give you much clearer skin and actually help keep the symptoms from coming back. Your provider will recommend treatment designed for you. In most cases this will include an oral antibiotic and/or a topical antibiotic (applied directly to your skin). Most people begin to notice some improvement in 3 to 4 weeks and significant improvement in 2 to 3 months. Once your symptoms have cleared up you will need to continue using your pill or topical therapy every day to keep your skin looking it's best. Without this regular therapy your symptoms will return.

For skin:

  • Sometimes antibiotics can be put right on the skin. Other times, oral antibiotics can be used. The skin bumps may get better quickly, but redness and flushing are less likely to improve.
  • Small red lines can be treated with electrosurgery and laser surgery. For some people, laser surgery improves the skin without much scarring or damage.
  • Patients with a swollen, bumpy nose can have extra skin tissue taken off to make it smaller. Usually patients feel this process helps their appearance.
  • Some people find that green-tinted makeup is good for hiding the skin's redness.

For the eyes:

  • Most eye problems are treated with oral antibiotics.
  • People who get infections of the eyelids must clean them a lot. The doctor may say to scrub the eyelids gently with watered-down baby shampoo or an over-the-counter eyelid cleaner. After scrubbing, you should apply a warm (but not hot) compress a few times a day.
  • If needed, the doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops.

You play a key role in taking care of your rosacea. Here are a few steps to take:

  • Keep a written record of when flareups happen. This can give you clues about what bothers your skin.
  • Use a sunscreen every day that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure it has a sun-protecting factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
  • Use a mild moisturizer if it helps. Don't put irritating products on the face.
  • If your eyes have problems, follow your doctor's treatment plan, and clean your eyelids as told.
  • Talk with a doctor if you feel sad or have other signs of depression. Some people with rosacea feel bad because of the way their skin looks.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2013

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