• The inflammatory skin condition rosacea causes patches of redness often accompanied by small, pus-filled pimples. Several medications, both topical and oral, can treat and prevent flare-ups. Your doctor will determine the most effective treatments based on your individual symptoms.

    Purpose of Medications

    You cannot cure rosacea. Medications work to control symptoms of active flare-ups and prevent new ones. Topical treatments tend to maintain their effectiveness even long-term.

    Antibiotic Therapies

    Antibiotic therapies--both oral and topical--appear to reduce redness and inflammation. According to the National Rosacea Society, doctors do not know how this works exactly as these medications typically fight bacteria but they have demonstrated effectiveness against this condition. Common treatments include metronidazole, tetracycline, minocycline and erythromycin.

    Topical Treatments

    You might also use other topical treatments either in conjunction with antibiotic therapy or on their own. The most frequently used include sulfur, azelaic acid and Vitamin A derivatives like tretinoin.

    Severe Flushing

    If you suffer from severe flushing, your doctor might prescribe a cardiovascular medication that acts on the blood vessels.

    Severe Rosacea

    If you suffer from severe rosacea that has not responded to other types of therapy, your doctor might suggest Accutane, a very powerful drug used for acne and other skin condition. You need close monitoring as it carries a risk of many serious side effects.


    National Rosacea Society: How Is Rosacea Treated

    The Mayo Clinic: Rosacea

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