If you have rosacea, you may be wondering what rosacea treatment options are available to you and how effective they are. Since rosacea affects millions of people, much research has gone into finding treatments for the condition (Rivero). However, available treatments have different effects on different people. The reason for this is that rosacea causes are numerous, poorly understood, and often overlap. In this guide, we explain all the rosacea treatment options you have and how each works.
But first, let us address the elephant in the room.
Can Rosacea Be Cured?
Rosacea currently has no cure. Despite much scientific research going towards finding a cure, the nature of rosacea has so far proven to be an insurmountable obstacle. Rosacea causes are currently poorly understood, which makes it challenging to zero in on a cure.
Moreover, potential causes are so varied and, in some cases, unrelated, that it is difficult to identify a single therapy that would cure all types of rosacea. Despite there being no cure, rosacea treatments are effective enough to reduce symptoms and substantially clear the skin.
Why Treat Your Rosacea?
One of the biggest challenges of rosacea is the emotional effect it has. Anyone with the condition knows how tough it is to maintain a healthy self-esteem. Regaining confidence and having a positive self-image is the best reason to treat your rosacea. With treatment, you can get back most of your original skin complexion and texture, helping you feel confident about your appearance.
Treating rosacea is also recommended to prevent it from getting worse. Left untreated, mild rosacea can turn into more severe rosacea types like ocular or rhinophyma rosacea.
How To Treat Rosacea
The right rosacea treatment can clear your skin and restore your natural, radiant glow. In most cases, you will need to use a combination of treatments for rosacea to get the best results. Also, you may need to adjust your treatments occasionally to maintain effectiveness.
We worked closely with experts to create a skin quiz that guides you to the best treatments on the market.
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Rosacea treatments fall into four groups:
- Medical rosacea treatments
- Lifestyle rosacea treatments
- Procedure-based rosacea treatments
- Home remedy rosacea treatments
1. Rosacea Lifestyle Changes
- Identify and avoid triggers and allergens: When it comes to rosacea outbreaks, triggers are the biggest culprits. You can treat your rosacea by identifying triggers and allergens and avoiding them altogether.
- Adjust your diet: Adjusting your diet can also treat your rosacea. A rosacea-friendly diet avoids foods known to trigger outbreaks such as hot and spicy foods. Moreover, the best diet for rosacea contains skin-friendly foods like avocado and oily fish.
- Sun protection and rosacea treatment: Protecting your skin from the sun can help treat your rosacea. Applying a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least thirty will protect your skin from the harsh effects of the sun’s UV rays.
- Stress management: Stress is a well-known factor in rosacea breakouts. Managing stress levels and living a more balanced life can help reduce rosacea breakout incidents. Stress management also helps reduce the severity of breakouts.
- Choice of skincare and cosmetic products: The best skincare for rosacea includes mild, skin-friendly skin care and cosmetic products. This includes choosing the best makeup, foundation, cleanser, and sunscreen for rosacea. If you notice a correlation between certain skincare products and breakouts, switching to an alternative can help treat your rosacea.
- Exercise: Mild exercise can help improve overall health and promote healthy skin. Exercise also helps support a good hormonal balance in the body, which is useful in treating rosacea. Avoid intense exercise, as it can lead to a flare-up. Also, try and maintain a cool skin temperature as you exercise.
- Regular screening: Rosacea treatments are most effective when applied to early-onset rosacea. If you suspect you have a breakout, schedule an appointment with your doctor for evaluation. Screening and early detection can help make treatment easier and more effective.
- Quit smoking: Researchers have found a connection between rosacea and smoking. Quitting smoking can help treat your rosacea as well as help make other treatments more effective.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Some types of alcohol, especially red wine, are known to trigger breakouts or make rosacea worse. Reducing alcohol intake might help treat your rosacea. It might also reduce the frequency and severity of future outbreaks.
2. Rosacea Treatment Procedures
- Laser treatment: Laser or light treatment can help treat visible blood vessels. Using a pulse dye laser, your doctor will target broken blood vessels and disintegrate them. The procedure is most effective after other types of treatments have reduced pimples, bumps, and redness. Laser treatment eliminates visible blood vessels and flushing after three or more sessions.
- Electrosurgery: Treating rosacea using electrosurgery offers a more targeted approach in removing visible blood vessels. In this procedure, your doctor uses a tiny needle electrode to apply an electric current or spark to individual blood vessels, causing them to disintegrate and dissolve into the skin.
- Dermabrasion: If you have advanced or severe rosacea with skin thickening and a bulbous nose, dermabrasion can be an effective treatment for you. The procedure “sands down” the skin to its normal thickness. During healing, the new skin is usually healthy and free from rosacea.
3. Home Remedies For Rosacea
- Essential oils: Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, chamomile, and geranium have soothing and potentially skin healing properties. Using them can help soothe inflammation and reduce the redness that comes with rosacea.
- Moisturizer: Dryness is a skin stress factor that can worsen rosacea. Regular use of a mild moisturizer can help promote skin elasticity and lock in moisture. The best products for rosacea have skin-protecting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, or olive oil, among others.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera can be taken orally or applied to the skin to treat rosacea. As an oral supplement, you can take aloe vera gel or aloe vera water as a cleanser. Aloe vera applied topically has soothing and healing effects on the skin. You can either purchase a rosacea cream with aloe vera or use a leaf taken directly from the plant.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When applied directly to the skin, coconut oil increases moisture retention and elasticity and also promotes skin regeneration. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties that can help treat rosacea.
- Green tea: Green tea has potent antioxidant properties, which can be useful in treating rosacea. Since inflammation is linked to free radicals, introducing antioxidants can help reverse the damage caused by these unpaired electrons. For best results, we recommend using a topical green tea treatment.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal has a long history of treating rosacea and other skin conditions. It has excellent moisture retention properties that help keep the skin supple and hydrated. Oatmeal also has soothing properties, helping alleviate breakouts.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory herb. You can use it in an essential oil formulation or mix it with water and apply it directly to your skin. If your rosacea is itchy, painful, or inflamed, turmeric may help treat the symptoms and soothe your skin.
- Chamomile: Chamomile is a popular ingredient in skincare products. Its winning property is its ability to soothe inflamed skin (Weinkle). You can use chamomile that is an ingredient in skincare products or apply it directly to the affected skin as a poultice.
How Long Will It Take For My Rosacea To Clear Up?
How fast you see results depends on the treatment type that you choose. For example, people who use medical treatments start seeing visible results after one to two weeks of application. On the other hand, those who opt for home remedies or lifestyle changes may wait for months to see results. If you want fast results, you may benefit from a carefully formulated Kirsch Dermatology rosacea treatment that combines the most effective rosacea treatment components.
Does Rosacea Treatment Work For All Ages?
Yes, rosacea treatments can work for any age. However, different ages benefit from different treatment formulations. For example, younger skin may respond to moisturizers and sunscreen, while older skin may benefit more from medical treatments. Getting the right treatment for your skin will offer you better outcomes.
Do Acne Treatments for Rosacea Work?
If your rosacea has acne-like breakouts, you might benefit from taking acne medicine. Such medications may include retinoids, antibiotics, azelaic acid, and salicylic acid. However, they are only useful in controlling the acne-like breakouts. Acne treatment is not effective in treating the underlying rosacea.
Do Rosacea Over The Counter Treatments Work?
Over the counter rosacea treatment can be helpful, but only if the formulation works for your skin. Since each rosacea case is different, using one formulation to treat all types may not be effective. In addition, over the counter treatments are generally not as strong as prescription medication. This means that even if you do see results, they may take longer to manifest.
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Brandon Kirsch, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in clinical drug development and medical innovation. He is the founder of Kirsch Dermatology in Naples, Florida and is also the Chief of Dermatology at the Naples Community Hospital.