Which is the best rosacea treatment?
The redness of the face seen in patients who experience repeated flushing episodes is difficult to treat. These skin changes may be mainly due to wind and weathering of fair skin and therefore the consistent (winter and summer) use of sunblock protective creams is important for all patients with rosacea. This article describes in detail the newest rosacea treatment.
Avoidance of potential Trigger Factors ( shown below) is also important. Promising new creams and gels with the ability to reduce redness are being investigated in clinical trials and should be available in the near future.
- Hot humid environment
- Large hot meals
- Hot drinks
- Spicy foods
- Sun or wind exposure
- Some medications
- Emotional stress
The spots of Rosacea usually respond well to antibiotic treatment. This treatment may be given in the oral form (pills are taken for moderate or severe rosacea) or used topically (in the form of a cream or gel for milder rosacea). Sometimes a combination of the tablets and the topical treatments are prescribed. The treatment takes up to 6 weeks to completely flatten the red bumps and pimples. Initially, the spots reduce in number; they don’t persist as long and flatten quickly on to the skin surface. The redness reduces as the spots clear. When the skin lesions settle the doctor often prescribes a “maintenance therapy” in the form of a cream or gel to be applied to the facial skin at night. When the skin remains un-inflamed for several months the redness gradually fades. If the skin remains clear after 6 months the maintenance treatment can gradually be stopped.
Remember that rosacea is a disorder that comes and goes on for many months or even years in most people so don’t be disappointed if you get a reoccurrence. Usually, this responds well to the same treatment as was given before.
If you are unlucky enough to develop rhinophyma you will probably require a surgical approach to remedy the problem. This is usually done by a plastic surgeon who may use traditional surgical excision techniques, or alternatively a form of laser (CO2 laser) can be used. Either of these approaches can lead to very satisfactory results with a marked improvement in appearance. Occasionally after some years, a patient may notice a mild re-occurrence of the rhinophyma and repeated treatment may be needed. Interestingly, the eye symptoms of rosacea (burning, stinging, dry or watery eyes) often respond to the same antibiotic treatment that is prescribed for the skin lesions. There are also eye drops and gels that can be prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes, if the eye symptoms are severe, or if you experience pain or blurred vision, you will be advised to see an eye specialist.
Herbal and Complimentary medical treatments are used by some people with rosacea. Tea Tree oil is probably the Rosacea Cure that has been most researched and does appear to be of benefit in some patients. The exact role of these treatments and their safety profile has not yet been fully clarified. Laser therapy can be used effectively to treat the broken blood vessels (telangiectasias) that contribute to the facial redness in some patients with rosacea. The use of cosmetic cover (products with a green or yellow tint mask the redness best) in the management of rosacea is appropriate and in most cases will not cause any deterioration in your skin condition. Remember to avoid vigorously cleansing the skin (gentle dabbing using lukewarm water with a soft cotton cloth is much better than rubbing with a rough washcloth) and avoid any products (such as aftershave lotions for men) that cause burning, sting, or itching of the skin. Avoid peeling agents as these are likely to irritate the sensitive rosacea skin.
- Avoid triggers of flushing
- Sunblock creams applied in the morning
- Moisturizers applied at night
- Eye drops daily for eye irritation
- Oral or topical antibiotics
- Other medications for rosacea spots
- Surgery or laser treatment for rhinophyma