Current (2020) estimates put the number of worldwide rosacea cases at 415 million. Doctors at the University of Copenhagen estimate that just under 5.5 percent of everyone in the world have this skin condition. Of those who do have rosacea, about 18 percent are under the care of a doctor. For many, the cost of treatments and failure to find a treatment that really works in the long-term is a deterrent.
If you have rosacea, finding the best creams for rosacea is one of the first steps you must take. I recommend working with a doctor initially. After that, you will have to decide if the cost of medical visits and treatments are affordable. Some health insurance plans in the U.S. consider some rosacea treatments to be cosmetic, so you end up paying out of pocket.
Before you treat your rosacea, there are things you should know. Rosacea treatments can only do so much. You need to find your triggers. Triggers are the most important part of treating rosacea. Rosacea doesn't have a cure, but the right skincare routine and diet can heal ease flare-ups.
Here are some of the most common rosacea questions.
#1 – How do you test for rosacea?
You have to see a doctor. Your doctor should refer you to a dermatologist who may do a skin scraping. The skin scraping is used to rule out other conditions like eczema, lupus, and psoriasis.
Most of the time, the doctor will go through a checklist of symptoms and diagnose rosacea without a test. If it's been present for a while and you have the redness, itching, burning/stinging, and maybe even pustules, it's rosacea.
# 2 – Can stress and anxiety cause rosacea? Is caffeine a rosacea trigger?
Stress and anxiety don't cause rosacea, but they can be a trigger to a flare-up. For many people who have rosacea, stress is one of the biggest triggers. It's also one of the hardest to control. Stress is just a part of life. Excessive stress can lead to a chemical response within the body that leads to flushing and sweating.
If stress is a trigger, managing stress is crucial. Tai Chi and Yoga have been found to be very effective when it comes to stress management.
Caffeine is also believed to be a common rosacea trigger. Researchers aren't sure that's correct. They believe it's the warm beverage that leads to blood being pushed to the surface of the skin to cool the body down.
Lots of foods can trigger a flare-up. For some, sugar will trigger a flare-up. Others find acidic foods like tomatoes and lemons are problems. Red wine, spicy foods, and dairy can be other triggers of rosacea.
#3 – Can rosacea be itchy?
Oh, yes. Rosacea can be very itchy. It can also present with stinging or burning patches of skin, pimples, redness, dry/flaking patches, and broken blood vessels. If the itching and stinging are distracting, you may want to talk to your doctor about prescription creams for rosacea that ease the itching and burning sensation.
#4 – Can rosacea go away on its own?
Some people do find the right skincare routine and diet that flare-ups dwindle. Some women find their flare-ups stop after menopause. This could mean hormone levels were a trigger. There is no cure for rosacea, but a reduction of triggers can keep the flare-ups from returning. The condition may suddenly appear again without warning.
What Are Some of the Best Prescription Rosacea Creams
Azelaic acid, better known as
, is a topical gel that is used for acne and rosacea that presents with pimples. It works by killing bacteria.
is a topical cream for rosacea that's sold under the brand name of MetroCream or MetroGel. It's effective, but you may find after regular use for a year or so that it stops working for you.
are topical rosacea creams that shrink blood vessels. This helps ease the redness that rosacea is known for. You cannot use it on scratches or cuts, and you have to stop using it if your skin becomes irritated.
You may know of
as a cream used to kill parasites in animals. Soolantra is a newer rosacea cream that treats the symptoms by killing the microscopic Demodex mites that live on the skin and are believed to cause rosacea in some people.
Some people use topical sulfacetamide or sulfur to treat rosacea. It's an antibiotic cream that's best known under the brand name Avar or
Which Over-the-Counter Rosacea Creams Really Work?
If you find prescription creams for rosacea don't work for you, it may be better to find over-the-counter creams and skincare products. Prosacea makes an over-the-counter rosacea cream that has helped many people with flare-ups. It didn't work for me, but it may help you. It's affordable, too.
Aloe is known to help with the itching and stinging. Manuka honey also has antibacterial properties that prove beneficial as a rosacea treatment. Honeyskin is one of the best options for an over-the-counter rosacea cream.
Be Prepared to Experiment
Even when you find products that work, rosacea flare-ups may return. You often have to find new ways to treat flare-ups and avoid triggers. Triggers may change, too. Some researchers label rosacea as a skin condition, some believe it's an autoimmune disease. Either way, finding the most effective treatment for rosacea will require you to experiment. What works for me may never work for you, or it might be incredibly effective. It's frustrating, but that's how rosacea works.