I have had Rosacea for four years. I have a touch of the red flushing, but mostly the bumps and acne. It is annoying, painful and frustrating! Rosacea can be triggered by wine, spicy foods, wind, cold, heat -basically just living. I have used a variety of products (over the counter and prescription) and I thought I would list them here as a reference for others suffering with this skin disease. I am not a doctor and everyone reacts differently to medications and treatment. You should ask your doctor before using anything new (you’ll have to go for prescription meds of course) and if you haven’t been diagnosed but have symptoms, you should see a doctor first to confirm your diagnosis.
Doryx – When I was first diagnosed with rosascea my doctor prescribed Doryx for about thirty days or so. This is a strong antibiotic that attacks the bacteria and helps to get the breakouts under control. It gave me stomach aches and I was relieved to stop taking it. It did calm things down though.
METROGEL (metronidazole) Gel, 1% – My derm gave me samples of this gel to put on morning and night and it worked pretty good. It doesn’t sting but it does kind of leave a white film that peels off your skin. The bad news – my insurance didn’t pay for it and costs about $350. Now there is a generic available for around $100.
Metronidazole cream – This what my doctor prescribed for me instead. The cream only has a .75% concentration and it didn’t work as well as the gel.
Oracea – This is the drug I was taking after Doryx. It is a tetracycline antibiotic and it helps prevent the growth of bacteria that causes your symptoms. This drug worked but it also gave me bad stomachaches. I had to take every couple of days instead of daily to give my stomach a break. It is also very expensive. They have a coupon card that reduces your co-pay to $25.
Minocycline (50 mg) – After all my complaining about the other oral medications, my doctor gave this. Minocycline is way easier on my stomach and my pocketbook (its about $12). It does give me a stomachache if I eat with it, so I take it first thing in the morning and wait about an hour. DO NOT take any of these Rosacea oral drugs before you go to bed or you will probably get massive heartburn!
Finacea, azelaic acid gel, 15% – This cream is what I am currently using. It sometimes burns a little when I put it on but it really gets rid of the papulopustular rosacea and makes your skin instantly look better. It also works on melasma and dark spots! Unfortunately it costs about $300 with insurance and the coupon they offer only saves you about $25.
Tips for Rosacea sufferers:
Samples, Samples, Samples: Ask for samples every time you see your dermatologist. I sometimes get enough to get me through to the next appointment. Also, make sure you ask for any rebate cards that are available for your scripts.
Research before, during and after: If your current medicine isn’t working, make sure you research different options before your next appointment. If you’re not sure what your insurance will cover, have your doctor give you a couple of different scripts (generic, older version, etc.). Look them up during your appointment if you have to. Once you leave the office it can take days to get a call back much a less a new script.
Go for tried and true: Patents expire so drug companies are always launching new products. These new products are often really expensive and not covered by insurance. Your doctor may not know you don’t have access to a trust fund so you’ll need to ask what the other alternatives are – like generics and so-called older drugs.
Check back soon for my list of OTC and makeup products that I have had success with.