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How to treat rosacea and adult acne

What You Can Do About Rosacea

For the millions of people who suffer from the redness, facial flushing, and even acne-like symptoms of rosacea, it's easy to feel like there is little or nothing you can do to treat your condition. While not curable, there are many ways you can manage your rosacea so that it doesn't interfere with your life. It is important to note that while some severe forms of rosacea can look like acne, traditional acne treatments will only aggravate your condition. If you suspect you have either acne or rosacea, make a quick trip to your doctor so you can treat your condition properly.

To see some treatments and behaviors that can minimize the discomfort of the condition,


  • Go easy on your skin: Rosacea can make already-sensitive skin even more so. If you are having a bout of redness and inflammation, treat your skin like you would a baby's. Stay out of the heat (that means no steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzi... you get my drift), and especially avoid the sun. If you do have to venture outdoors, use a baby sunblock with the highest SPF that you can find, and wear a wide-brimmed hat. It can also help to avoid exercise, and moving quickly between hot and cold temperatures. Use only an alcohol-free, gentle cleanser twice a day, and steer clear of facials, microdermabrasions, etc.
  • Watch what goes into your body: Staying away from spicy foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and hot drinks can help avoid triggering symptoms.
  • Topical treatments: A topical prescription antibiotic can help reduce moderate inflammation and red bumps. Check with your dermatologist about which one is right for you. Topical Azelaic acid gel is a non-antibiotic option, but it can also only be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Oral Antibiotics: Severe acne rosacea can also be addressed with the oral antibiotic, Oracea. This is a low-dose, anti-inflammatory drug that has typically lower side effects than traditional antibiotics. These are typically administered for a short-course of treatment that is usually followed up with topical treatments if needed.
  • Retinoids: Like cystic acne, severe rosacea can be helped with retinoids, which help renew the surface of your skin. Be careful, though; this regimen will double your skin's sun sensitivity, so a high-SPF sunblock is an absolute must at all times.

If any of you have battled rosacea, I would love to hear your stories, and in particular what treatment options worked best for you. For more information on rosacea, you can go to The National Rosacea Society.


Join The Conversation
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I have it, and though I haven't tried the options listed above I did do the new IPL light therapy(sort of like laser, only that they use light), and that got rid of some truly stubborn popped blood vessels on my cheeks. I did four rounds of it with about four weeks in between. It's best to do it during the winter months because of increased sensitivity to sun exposure. On some it doesn't hurt much at all, but having very sensitive skin it felt like lightning striking on my face! But it was really, really worth it, and I'm so glad I did the treatments. It's actually amazing that they are gone, and now I wear less makeup, which is a good thing. Having a popped blood vessel is much like having a constant pimple to conceal. Pretty annoying! Otherwise I would recommend using skincare lines with non chemical ingredients. If your face cream or cleanser contains names which are difficult/impossible to pronounce you should probably not put it on your sensitive face! I use the Arcona line, but Dr. Hauscka is good too, as well as many other lines I'm sure. Check out the most common products at for information. Mineral makeup has helped me too, definitely.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
i don't have rosacea, but i do suffer from a combination of similar symptoms, including skin sensitivity and redness mixed with cystic acne. my dermatologist treats it like rosacea, and has me on finacea (azelaic acid) and differin (a retinoid). they work wonders. i use an SPF 45 moisturizer every day, and i have no problems.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
jenbell368 jenbell368 9 years
I just recently went to the Dr's and was diagnosed with rosacea. I get little red bumps around my mouth, chin, and forehead. She perscribed me Oracea, Azelaic acid gel, and another topical cream that is called Avar E. It is green and smells like sulfur but after using the two creams the night I got them and the next morning it was already cleared up and I hadn't even started the antibiotic yet. I wasn't able to get the Oracea brand antibiotic b/c my insurance did not cover it but they replaced it with a higher dosage generic brand. It is working although I'm not even sure I need it after the creams worked so quickly!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I have mild rosacea that I don't need to take medication for. I've also found that microdermabrasion helps. If icky skin cells build up, it makes rosacea angry and inflamed. Smooth, healthy skin is much less red. The things that make mine flare up the most are: the heater (even in the winter!), too-hot showers, and getting to the point of sweating (I don't actually sweat, so I just get red in general but my face will stay red even after I've cooled down).
mischo-beauty mischo-beauty 9 years
Great post Bella! Thxs.
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