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TREATMENTS FOR ROSACEA

There is currently no cure for rosacea but there are several treatments that can lessen the severity of symptoms and help control flare ups. Treatments commonly used include:

TREATMENTS FROM YOUR PHARMACY

Moisturisers: Dry skin associated with rosacea can be treated with moisturisers suitable for sensitive skin (look for labels stating hypoallergenic).

Barrier repair cream: Dermalex Rosacea is a clinically proven treatment that reduces redness and dryness and appearance of spider veins. It restores the barrier function of the skin and protects the skin against flare ups. It contains UV filters, green pigments and soothing ingredients. It is antibiotic, fragrance and paraben free.

TREATMENTS FOR ACNE-LIKE SYMPTOMS

Metronidazole: An antibiotic gel or cream for mild papules or pustules. It is important to note that metronidazole can cause skin irritation in some users and may take a number of months to have an impact.

Azeliac acid: An organic compound that helps unblock pores and reduces inflammation. Side effects can include burning and itching of the skin.

Oral antibiotics: These include antibiotics such as tetracyclines, including erythromycin and doxycycline. These all have an anti-inflammatory effect and are used for serious symptoms of spots and pimples. This treatment can take a number of months to take effect. A newer approach is to take a daily low dose of doxcycline to minimise the risk of antibiotic resistance.

TREATMENTS FOR SEVERE SYMPTOMS

Isotretionoin: This is a drug used to treat severe cases of acne, however at low doses it is sometimes prescribed for rosacea. This treatment requires a prescription from a dermatologist. It has a number of serious potential side effects including birth defects in babies so all women of child bearing age who take it need to use two forms of contraception and have monthly pregnancy tests in hospital.

Laser treatments: This is a treatment for severe spider veins. Lasers produce narrow beams of light that are aimed at the visible blood vessels in the skin. The heat from the lasers damages the widened blood vessels and causes them to shrink so they are no longer visible with minimal damage to surrounding tissues or scarring. However laser treatment is painful and side effects can include bruising, crushing, swelling, redness, blisters and infections.

Lasers can also be used to treat the redness and visible blood vessels and can improve the appearance of flushing, but this is usually only available privately.

Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery can be used to repair skin damaged by rhinophyma in the most severe cases.

Eye treatments: Treatments for ocular rosacea include eye drops for dry eyes or long term antibiotics in more severe cases.