What has worked for you to treat rosacea?
May 25, 2023 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Asking for my sister. She has tried thermocoagulation (Veinwave) treatment for rosacea, but it hasn't helped. The last question about what works for rosacea is from 2012, so I thought it was worth asking again. What has helped you?
posted by paduasoy to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Aveeno Redness Relief has been helpful. I use it morning and night. I won't say it has "cured" my rosacea, but it has slowly reduced the redness. It cannot make the broken blood vessels go away; they are still red, but less so. Plus, it's rich and feels great.
posted by Dolley at 7:38 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

So as not to abuse the edit window: I will be following to see what is working (or not) for other people.
posted by Dolley at 7:39 AM on May 25

Best answer: Soolantra (topical ivermectin).

I am currently trying an ivermectin and azelaic acid combo from a compounding pharmacy on the recommendation of my current dermatologist.
posted by needled at 7:49 AM on May 25 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Prescription topical ketoconazole (Metrogel) kept it under control for years for me. However, I was consuming 1-3 alcoholic drinks per day. I know. In the last year or so, I have cut that down to 1-3 drinks on only 2-3 days per week. And simultaneously the rosacea has essentially disappeared. Not cured (there is no total cure) — getting off the wagon for 10 days while on vacation resulted in a flare-up. But after a few days of keto treatment it went back into remission again. In my case , I think excessive exposure to sunlight also exacerbates it. But others may need to test avoidance of the other factors that appear to stimulate it, including potentially caffeine, spicy foods, etc.
posted by beagle at 8:12 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Soolantra every day. An oral antibiotic when I'm having a bad flare. I'm waiting on a script for an affordable azaleic acid from my local compounding pharmacy.
posted by heathrowga at 8:23 AM on May 25

Best answer: Azeleic acid.
posted by bluebird at 8:26 AM on May 25

Best answer: Metrocream used to work for me, and then during the pandemic, I started getting a lot more bumps, so I went through a long cycle of doxycycline followed up by an ivermectin and azelaic acid gel from a compounding pharmacy and I will swear by the latter forever.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:41 AM on May 25

Best answer: I should add that I also have a Foreo UFO and the Cannabis seed oil mask and the green tea mask are both very calming -- the device is in cooling mode when you are using those and it's delightful feeling as well.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:42 AM on May 25

Best answer: Incurable rosacea that only seemed to get worse (or not change) with medication is what clued my dermatologist in to get the special allergy testing. Check the ingredients of whatever she's using for propylene glycol and/or consider chemical sensitivity testing.
posted by amtho at 8:53 AM on May 25

Best answer: I have Type 2 rosacea (acne-like bumps and generally inflamed/sensitive skin) and topical azelaic acid and ivermectin have cleared nearly all of it. I still have some visible broken capillaries from before I started treatment and I will probably try to get them lasered at some point, but my skin is now stable and mostly clear. (Jealous of those in the thread who have the ingredients compounded into one cream - putting multiple creams on is a hassle.)

FYI I use tretinoin as well because I *also* still am prone to regular acne as an adult, ugh. It's been life-changing in ending my hormonal jawline breakouts; my dermatologist says there's evidence that it also works to improve Type 2 rosacea. I think people with Type 1 rosacea (flushing) have to be more careful with it if I understand correctly, but it's helped me a lot and hasn't caused additional skin irritation in my experience.
posted by sparkling at 8:56 AM on May 25

Best answer: I follow some practices recommended among the K-beauty community that have been helpful for my mild rosacea. Basically, things that are soothing and promote a healthy skin barrier. I still get flushing occasionally if I have some kinds of alcohol or spicy foods, but my bumps and overall redness are down considerably. I haven't seen a dermatologist about my rosacea for a few years, but didn't find the person I was seeing very helpful anyway.

There was a fair amount of trial and error here to find what worked for my skin, so I'm not sure how helpful specific product recommendations are. After some experimentation, I have adopted a few products from Korean brand Cosrx that feel great on my skin and very soothing. I do a double cleanse in the evening with a cleansing balm and then a cleanser formulated for sensitive skin, and just use the latter in the morning. Also in the morning, I use The Ordinary's Azelaic Acid Suspension, and find it to be very soothing. I use the Cetaphil sheer liquid mineral sunscreen, and it does leave a white cast, but I find that zinc oxide feels nice on my skin and mineral sunscreens are recommended for rosacea as less irritating than chemical ones anyway.

I have pretty much stopped exfoliating, or using any harsher ingredients like AHA/BHA, salicylic acid, lactic acid or retinol. For anti-aging and melasma, I use a Vitamin C serum at night and also add a couple drops of rose hip seed oil (both from The Ordinary) to my moisturizer (Cosrx). The rose hip seed oil is like a super mild retinol, and I actually did have some peeling when I started it almost like starting a retinol regime, but it's not so harsh that my skin becomes irritated if I use it every day.

It's been a lot of work, but if I don't follow the routine, my skin gets quite itchy and uncomfortable. Plus, surprisingly, I get compliments on my skin, so that's nice to hear at 40 years old. It did take a lot of trial and error to settle on this particular routine. There's rosacea and k-beauty forums over on Reddit that have been helpful to peruse as well.
posted by sk932 at 8:58 AM on May 25

Best answer: Avoiding triggers or accepting the results of not avoiding triggers. For the flushing type of rosacea, daily application of Rhofade (a RX that is not covered by my insurance) that restricts blood vessels. My derm told me a long time ago to try it and I only needed to use it when I really needed it. Last year they said new research shows daily is better, and that's what worked for me but I have a pretty bad case of it (being cozy with a blanket on the couch is enough heat to cause a flare for me).

For the bumpy type of rosacea over the counter azeliac acid works just as well as prescriptions in my case. I use Paula's Choice 10% azeliac acid based on price mostly, but Glytone works great for me too which I would use if it wasn't so expensive. I've tried probably every prescription (soolantra, low dose antibiotics, topical antibiotics, topical anti-fungals etc...) and a lot of over the counter over the past 12 years, although not lazers. My derm is very aggressive and always tries the new drugs so I feel like I've run the gamut of what's available. I would start with the smallest/least amount of treatment and keep increasing if it doesn't work.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:10 AM on May 25

Best answer: If there’s any chance it could actually be seborrheic dermatitis (looks similar to rosacea but is caused by skin flora imbalance), washing the face with head and shoulders shampoo for a couple weeks may be worth a try.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 9:20 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In addition to Metrocream and Soolantra (not at the same time), avoiding having hot air or water on my face. After a hot shower, I splash cold water on my face to counteract the effects. Moving to a warmer climate has also helped me tremendously since I don’t need to expose myself to central heat very often anymore.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:25 AM on May 25

Best answer: Doxycycline 10,000%. Soolantera and metrocream too, but Doxy is what makes the difference. If I have a flair up, I double my dose (under my doctor's guidance) and it clears quickly.

I don't like the fact that I'm taking an antibiotic daily, but it works.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:00 PM on May 25

Best answer: Low dose oral antibiotic has been the most effective thing I’ve tried. However it plays hell with my gut, so it’s an on again/off again thing for me.
posted by threecheesetrees at 6:34 PM on May 25

Best answer: When my blood-pressure medication gave me rosacea, I used Medline Remedy with Olivamine Skin Repair Cream (active ingredient: dimethicone 1.5%). It also works great in the winter for chapped hands.
posted by bryon at 9:39 PM on May 25

Response by poster: Thank you. This is all very helpful - my sister has ordered ivermectin as a first try but says she will be referring back to the thread in the future.
posted by paduasoy at 10:03 AM on May 28

Response by poster: A follow-up question from my sister. She has secured on prescription ivermectin, but re-reading your answers she wonders whether she should use it in combination with azeliac acid. Also, what time of day do people use it, and if in the daytime do they wear moisturiser and foundation? Thanks again.
posted by paduasoy at 12:25 PM on June 4

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