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The Best Treatments for Rosacea

Jan 15, 2022

Rosacea is a common skin condition characterized by red, vascular lesions, and acne-like breakouts. It most often affects the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. While rosacea is benign (not harmful), it can still make you feel self-conscious. Therefore, you need the best rosacea treatments to reduce your symptoms and help you look your best. Here’s how a dermatologist can help you treat rosacea effectively.

Topical Medication

  • Azelaic acid: Most patients who apply azelaic acid twice a day experience a noticeable improvement in their rosacea symptoms. Be aware that tingling, burning, and skin lightening may occur.
  • Metronidazole: This gel or cream has treated rosacea for decades. Many patients see long-term results, even after discontinuing use. Possible side effects include itching, stinging, irritation, and dryness.
  • Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur: These ingredients are often found in over-the-counter cleansers and may be prescribed as a medication you apply directly to your skin. Mild side effects tend to dissipate the longer you take the medication, and results improve by following your rosacea treatment plan.
  • Retinoid: This form of vitamin A should not be applied during a rosacea flare-up. However, once you get your condition under control, retinoid products can help prevent breakouts.

Oral Medication

  • Antibiotics: Your dermatologist may prescribe an antibiotic such as tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, or erythromycin to get your rosacea under control. Then, you’ll likely use other treatments to maintain the results.
  • Low-dose doxycycline: While doxycycline is an antibiotic, it doesn’t act like it when administered in a low dose. The FDA has approved low-dose doxycycline to reduce the acne-like breakouts of rosacea.
  • Isotretinoin: This powerful medication could be an option if severe rosacea doesn’t respond to other treatments.

V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment

Laser therapy can be highly effective at treating rosacea redness and breakouts. V-Beam pulsed dye laser treatment delivers an intense but gentle burst of yellow light to the affected area. The blood vessels in the dermis layer of your skin absorb this wavelength, causing them to thicken and reabsorb into the body as the treatment area heals.

One to five treatments may be needed, and follow-up appointments can help you maintain long-term results. To avoid scarring and other side effects, only work with a board-certified dermatologist who has experience performing laser therapy.

Rosacea-Friendly Skincare Products

Along with prescribed rosacea treatments, you can help reduce redness and acne-like breakouts by following a rosacea-friendly skincare routine. This includes choosing products made for your skin condition. For example, avoid products that contain alcohol, camphor, fragrance, glycolic acid, lactic acid, menthol, sodium laurel sulfate, or urea. Then, always choose creams over lotions or gels, and never apply astringents or toners.

By pursuing a combination of rosacea treatments, you’re more likely to get the results you’re looking for. Pinpoint which medicines and therapies are right for you by teaming up with a board-certified dermatologist at Arlington Dermatology. Contact us today at 847-392-5440 to schedule an appointment at our patient-centered clinic in Rolling Meadows.