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What are the Different Treatments for Rosacea?

By Archana Khambekar
Updated May 17, 2024
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Rosacea is a chronic or recurring skin condition that usually manifests as facial redness. The redness is often on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin area, but in some cases may afflict the eyes, ears, and scalp. Rosacea may cause eruptions such as pustules, and fine blood vessels may become perceptible on the face. The prescribed treatments for rosacea include oral and topical antibiotics, and laser therapy. People who suffer from rosacea are generally advised to monitor their dietary or lifestyle factors that may exacerbate the condition.

Rosacea can usually be managed with treatment. Consulting a doctor in time can usually keep the condition from advancing to a severe form. Dermatologists try out different treatments for rosacea after evaluating the symptoms, acuteness of the condition, and patient response.

For redness, bumps or pustules on the skin, the doctor may prescribe a cream with an antibiotic, such as metronidazol or erythromycin. Sometimes topical treatment with sodium sulfacetamide, azelic acid, or a retinoid might be recommended. An oral course of antibiotics may be prescribed in addition to the cream to improve efficacy. Possible side effects of oral antibiotics include nausea, stomach irritation and yeast infection. Individual response to antibiotics can vary; one particular antibiotic may be more effective and have lesser side effects than another.

Some people may experience grittiness, irritation, redness of the eyes or inflammation of the eyelids due to rosacea. Doctors usually prescribe oral antibiotics to treat the symptoms, and a formulation to reduce redness and moisturize the eyes. Patients are often advised to wash their eyes with tepid water or a mild cleansing product that won't irritate the eyes.

Thickening of tissues and bulging of the nose may occur in a type of rosacea called rhinophyma. In such cases, laser therapy may be beneficial, beyond customary treatments for rosacea. Laser treatment could be useful in taking off the abnormal tissue growing around the nose, as well as for diminishing redness and the blood vessels that may show on the face. Other surgical procedures may be performed to restore appearance of the nose.

Some sufferers turn to alternative remedies such as primrose oil or black currant oil capsules to alleviate their symptoms. Skin creams that contain green tea or the herb licorice as the active ingredient are among the natural topical treatments for rosacea. It is better to seek a dermatologist's advice before trying an herbal product for rosacea, however.

A genetic propensity and a fair complexion may increase susceptibility to the condition, but precautions can be taken to reduce rosacea triggers. Being out in extreme hot or cold weather, sun exposure, a hot bath, or a strenuous workout could inflame the skin. Intake of alcohol or hot beverages, and eating spicy food are among the dietary triggers associated with rosacea; psychological stress may exacerbate the symptoms. The skin may react to harsh cosmetics and scented skin care products. As triggers vary from person to person, maintaining a diary could assist in ascertaining and limiting factors that may worsen rosacea symptoms.

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