There is no cure for rosacea. But rosacea can be controlled in most cases, particularly with medical treatment to manage your symptoms. Your health care provider may prescribe 1 or more topical treatments to apply to your skin daily. You may also be given oral medications (taken by mouth) if you have more severe rosacea symptoms. To relieve rosacea eye symptoms, you may need prescription eyedrops. Avoid things that can easily cause your rosacea to flare up, such as spicy foods, alcohol, getting embarrassed, and going from a cold environment to a warm environment. Surgery can be done to correct the more severe forms of scarring rosacea of the nose, called rhinophyma (when redness and swelling causes the nose to enlarge).
Your role in medical treatment
How well your treatment works depends partly on you. Follow your health care provider’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, including combinations of treatments.
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 do not irritate the skin, oil-free, and fragrance-free.
Avoid applying topical steroids to the skin lesions. Steroids may worsen rosacea.
Getting good results
Learning about rosacea and treating it early 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. The National Rosacea Society is a great resource for patient education.
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 them.