Now that our earlier blog highlighted what rosacea is, let’s look at how it is treated. Several new Rosacea treatment options have come to the market in recent years. But any discussion about Rosacea treatment would be incomplete without first reviewing some things that may make the condition worse.
What makes Rosacea conditions worse?
Several factors that can contribute to worsening in rosacea have been identified. Each person may notice that certain of these factors may trigger their condition, whereas others may not. Of all potential triggers, exposure to sunlight (or UV light from tanning beds) is the most common one. Others may include any of the following:
- spicy food
- hot beverages
- wind burn
- extremes of temperature (hot or cold)
- alcohol (especially red wine)
Rosacea Treatment Options
At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we encourage our patients to work to identify their triggers and to also limit their exposure to them if their rosacea remains stubborn to treatments. Types of treatments to manage rosacea can be divided into:
- topical medicines (applied to the skin)
- oral medicines (taken by mouth)
- laser treatment
Topical medications are the mainstay of treatment for rosacea. The workhouse medicine for some time has been metronidazole cream/lotion/gel. Although this medicine does work well, it fails in adequately controlling skin redness for some patients. Enter Mirvaso and Rhofade. These are two of the newest players and specifically target blood vessels. They are vasoconstrictors, meaning they reduce facial redness by constricting the tiny blood vessels on the skin of the face. For the pimple-like spots of rosacea we also have an additional older topical known as Finacea. Soolantra is another topical which entered the market recently to treat this type of rosacea—known as papulopustular rosacea.
Papulopustular rosacea at times may be tougher to treat, necessitating an oral antibiotic. The most commonly used antibiotics for this reason are:
All of these are available as generic medications, but a brand name version of doxycycline known as Oracea is available. This medicine is special in that it is overall a low dose of the antibiotic, lowering the risk of upset stomach and sunlight sensitivity we see with doxycycline. As with any prescription treatment, it is important to discuss medication side effects with your dermatology provider and to work with them to select the medicine that’s best for you.
When talking about Rosacea medication selection, we like to let you know that we are keenly aware of the high cost of some prescription medications. We want the best treatments for each patient, and we want you to get the best price for medications. There are a variety of factors that lead to the ultimate cost of a medication. These can vary from person to person based on your prescription medication coverage, deductible, pharmacy used, and availability of a medication at any given time. Though one typically expects generics to be less expensive than brand names, sometimes the opposite is true.
Even though we work to select the best and most reasonably priced medications in every case, we are committed to working with all patients to adjusting plans if they find unforeseen medication expenses. Though this process can be an ongoing one that requires some back-and-forth discussion between our clinic, the patient, and the pharmacy, we have found it to be very successful at keeping down the costs of prescription medications.
Last but not least for treatment of rosacea, specialty lasers can be extremely effective for reducing the redness of rosacea. At our Omaha clinic we have one of the best lasers in the world for this—the VBeam Perfecta. This is Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) that safely and effectively removes discolorations, including rosacea, sun-spots, age spots, freckles, as well as other vascular and pigmented abnormalities. The two most notable drawbacks to laser are that its benefits are generally not permanent (some patients need touch-up repeat treatments) and often medical insurance does not cover the cost of treatment.
Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands Omaha & Council Bluffs
As you can see, there are many different options to treat rosacea. If you have rosacea or symptoms of rosacea, consider seeing one of our expert dermatology providers at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands.