Rosacea Treatment

No cure for rosacea is currently available. Medical treatment concentrates on reducing symptoms and repairing cosmetic blemishes caused by the disorder.

Oral and Topical Antibiotics

Antibiotics may be prescribed to help reduce the swelling and inflammation that accompanies rosacea. Ocular rosacea symptoms may also be improved through antibiotic use. Treatment lasts about one or two months, and results are generally positive. Because it is a chronic disease, periodic antibiotic prescriptions are usually required.

Mild cases of rosacea may be treated with topical antibiotics. More severe cases may require oral antibiotics, or a combination of oral and topical medications. Your dermatologist is your best source of information if you have questions about antibiotic rosacea treatments.

Vascular Laser Treatment

Vascular laser treatment is a cosmetic surgery technique designed to reduce the effects of telangiectasia. The laser reduces the size of blood vessels in the upper layer of the skin, reducing the blotchy redness caused by the condition. The treatment is quite effective, and generally only requires a few days’ recovery time.

Plastic Surgery and Rhinophyma

Plastic surgery may be considered with rhinophyma. The surgeon removes the papules and reconstructs damaged skin on the nose. In mild cases of rhinophyma, vascular laser treatment may be used instead of plastic surgery.

Self-Help Methods

In addition to medical interventions, people with rosacea can reduce their symptoms by initiating a few simple lifestyle changes.

Recognize Everyday Triggers

To reduce the severity of your symptoms, first find out what triggers aggravate them. This may involve a bit of detective work. Keep a diary detailing what you’ve eaten, what weather conditions you’ve experienced, the conditions of your skin and any special events that might trigger an emotional reaction. This record will help you determine what your personal triggers are.

Adequate sun protection is essential. Excessive sunlight and sunburns often trigger attacks. Choose water-based sunscreen over the harsher oil-based products. The same rule holds true for make-up and moisturizers: water-based products are typically much gentler than those that are oil-based.

Avoid Topical Skin Treatments

Topical steroids are used to reduce inflammation in a variety of skin disorders. They are not generally the best choice for rosacea treatment, however. Topical steroids actually make many people’s rosacea worse. Most topical steroids are only available by prescription, but some less potent products are available over the counter. Unless recommended by your health professional, avoid using them.

Benzoyl peroxide, the ingredient found in most acne creams, should also be avoided as it can aggravate the condition. Remember rosacea is not acne.

Resources

Bass and Boney Inc. (updated 2002). What is rosacea? Retrieved July 27, 2002, from www.rosacea-ltd.com/.

National Library of Medicine. (updated 2001). Rosacea. Retrieved July 27, 2002, from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000879.htm.

National Rosacea Society. (nd). What is rosacea? Retrieved July 27, 2002, from www.rosacea.org/patients/whatis.html.

New Zealand Dermatological Society. (updated 2002). Rosacea. Retrieved July 27, 2002, from www.dermnetnz.org/dna.rosacea/ros.html.

OHSU Health. (nd). Rosacea. Retrieved July 27, 2002, from www.ohsuhealth.com/derm/rosa.asp?sub=1.