Ivermectin Cream: Does It Really Cure Rosacea?

At the end of 2014, the FDA approved Soolantra (ivermectin) as a rosacea treatment. The theory behind this medication is that it kills Demodex mites believed to cause the inflammation and redness. If you don't know what Demodex mites are, they are the mites that cause a form of mange in dogs and other animals.

What Studies Found

Clinical trials were used to determine the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment for rosacea. After two weeks, patients dealing with the inflamed red skin, as well as bumps, saw improvement. It seems that Soolantra was a solid treatment, especially in cases where mites cause rosacea's redness and itching. It doesn't cure rosacea, but for many, it does seem to help.

The Biggest Problem

For some, Soolantra is simply too expensive to continue using. According to online pharmacies, the price of Soolantra is about $200 per 30-gram tube. Your insurance co-pay may bring that down some if it covers Soolantra. Still, WebMD still puts the average minimum cost with a co-pay at $90 per month. Few can afford that.

There are forums where rosacea sufferers bought the 1% ivermectin paste used for horses and mixed that into their moisturizer and had great success. Remember that medications meant for animals may not be safe for you. Before doing anything potentially risky, talk to your doctor about other options and more affordable treatments for rosacea.

A Better Option

Tea Tree oil is used in many areas as a way to kill Demodex mites. After washing your face, use The Body Shop's Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask. It contains Tea Tree oil and often helps people whose rosacea is caused by mites. Follow that with The Body Shop's Tea Tree Mattifying Face Lotion. Be sure to do a test run in an inconspicuous area first. While both products are meant to be gentle, there's always the chance you'll have a sensitivity to Tea Tree oil.