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Can rosacea be cured?

Although there is no cure for rosacea, it can be treated and controlled. A dermatologist (a medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the skin) usually treats rosacea. The goals of treatment are to control the condition and improve the appearance of the patient's skin. It may take several weeks or months of treatment before a person notices an improvement of the skin.

Some doctors will prescribe a topical antibiotic, such as metronidazole, which is applied directly to the affected skin. For people with more severe cases, doctors often prescribe an oral (taken by mouth) antibiotic. Tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and doxycycline are the most common antibiotics used to treat rosacea. The papules and pustules symptomatic of rosacea may respond quickly to treatment, but the redness and flushing are less likely to improve.

Some people who have rosacea become depressed by the changes in the appearance of their skin. Information provided by the National Rosacea Society indicates that people who have rosacea often experience low self-esteem, feel embarrassed by their appearance, and claim their social and professional interactions with others are adversely affected. (See "Where Can People Get More Information About Rosacea?" below.) A doctor should be consulted if a person feels unusually sad or has other symptoms of depression, such as loss of appetite or trouble concentrating.

Doctors usually treat the eye problems of rosacea with oral antibiotics, particularly tetracycline or doxycycline. People who develop infections of the eyelids must practice frequent eyelid hygiene. The doctor may recommend scrubbing the eyelids gently with diluted baby shampoo or an over-the-counter eyelid cleaner and applying warm (but not hot) compresses several times a day. When eyes are severely affected, doctors may prescribe steroid eye drops.

Electrosurgery and laser surgery are treatment options if red lines caused by dilated blood vessels appear in the skin or if rhinophyma develops. For some patients, laser surgery may improve the skin's appearance with little scarring or damage. For patients with rhinophyma, surgical removal of the excess tissue to reduce the size of the nose usually will improve the patient's appearance.

More information on rosacea

What is rosacea? - Rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a skin disorder leading to redness and pimples on the nose, forehead, cheekbones, and chin.
What are the symptoms of rosacea? - Symptoms of rosacea may first appear in the early twenties but often do not start till middle life. People with rosacea flush easily.
What causes rosacea? - The cause of rosacea is unknown. There may be a genetic factor. Demodex folliculorum may represent an important cofactor especially in papulopustular rosacea.
Can rosacea be cured? - Although there is no cure for rosacea, it can be treated and controlled. The goals of treatment are to control the condition and improve the appearance of the patient's skin.
What are the treatments for rosacea? - The goal of treatment for rosacea is to reduce or eliminate symptoms and stop the condition from getting worse. The most effective treatments are oral tetracycline and antibiotics.
Is it possible to prevent rosacea? - There is no way to prevent rosacea, but the symptoms can be reduced by recognizing these common triggers. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005