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Treating Rosacea

There is no cure for rosacea. But medical treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe one or more topical treatments to apply to your skin daily. You may also be given oral medications (taken by mouth). To relieve eye symptoms, you may use eyedrops and oral medications. Surgery can be done to correct rhinophyma (when redness and swelling causes the nose to enlarge).

Woman with red patches on face putting cleanser on face.

Your Role in Medical Treatment

How well your treatment works depends partly on you. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Rosacea symptoms often get better with medications. But they tend to worsen again if medications are stopped. If your symptoms persist or worsen, ask about other treatment options.

Rosacea Self-Care

Besides sticking with your treatment plan, follow these tips to care for your skin:

  • Wash your face twice a day with a gentle facial cleanser. Rinse your skin well with warm (not hot) water. Pat your skin dry with a cotton towel.

  • Don’t scrub your skin or use sponges, brushes, or other abrasive tools. Doing so can irritate your skin.

  • Avoid harsh scrubs or astringents. These products can irritate your skin.

  • If you shave your face, use an electric razor.

  • Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 daily. Sun exposure can make rosacea symptoms worse.

  • Choose skin care products and cosmetics that are nonirritating, oil-free, and fragrance-free.

What Causes Rosacea Flare-Ups?

It’s often hard to pinpoint the factors that cause rosacea flare-ups. Common triggers include weather extremes, sun exposure, alcoholic or hot beverages, spicy food, physical exertion, stress, illness, some skin products, and medications. To prevent flare-ups, keep a list of things that seem to make your rosacea worse. Then try to avoid these triggers.

Getting Good Results

Learning about rosacea is the first step toward controlling this disease. With proper treatment and self-care, you can manage your symptoms and feel better about your skin.


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