Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although there's no cure for rosacea, treatments can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. Most often this requires a combination of prescription treatments and certain lifestyle changes on your part.

Medications

Prescription drugs used for rosacea may include:

  • Antibiotics. The antibiotics used for rosacea also have anti-inflammation effects. They may come in the form of creams, gels or lotions to spread on the affected skin or in pills that you swallow. Antibiotic pills are generally more effective in the short term, but they can also cause more side effects.
  • Acne drugs. If antibiotics don't work, your doctor might suggest trying isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, others). This powerful drug is most commonly used for severe cystic acne, but it also often helps clear up acne-like lesions of rosacea. Don't use this drug during pregnancy as it can cause serious birth defects.

The duration of your treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms, but typically you'll notice an improvement within one to two months. Because symptoms may recur if you stop taking medications, long-term regular treatment is often necessary.

Surgical and other procedures

Enlarged blood vessels, some redness and changes due to rhinophyma often become permanent. In these cases, surgical methods, such as laser surgery and electrosurgery, may reduce the visibility of blood vessels, remove tissue buildup around your nose and generally improve your appearance.

Aug. 17, 2013

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