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How Do I Choose the Best Over-the-Counter Rosacea Treatment?

Chamomile tea can be applied to a face as part of a natural remedy for rosacea.
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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2014
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People who suffer from rosacea can find relief from the symptoms with several types of over-the-counter treatments, such as sunscreens, natural remedies, and sulfur based products. The common acne treatment, benzoyl peroxide, is also used as an over-the-counter rosacea treatment. This skin condition has no known cause and can not be cured, but the characteristic symptoms of visible blood vessels, red skin, and swelling can often be controlled, reducing embarrassment and discomfort for the patient. Rosacea is usually seen on the face, neck, and scalp as well on the chest and back. There are several types of rosacea, and each one is treated differently; mild and moderate rosacea, however, is often treated successfully with OTC treatments.

The most frequently used over-the-counter rosacea treatment is sunscreen, usually in a formula with a 15 SPF or higher. Sun exposure is considered to be high on the list of triggers for a rosacea outbreak, and using sunscreen can significantly limit the negative effects of sunlight. Rosacea patients are advised to carefully choose a sunscreen cream or lotion that is made for people with sensitive skin. Those products containing ingredients such as octyl salicylate can cause skin irritation.

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Other types of over-the-counter rosacea treatment options can be found in the kitchen. Cucumbers and chamomile are often used to control the symptoms of this skin condition. Some of the most basic and effective rosacea skin treatments are products containing either one of these natural ingredients. Patients can apply pureed cucumber to the affected areas and rinse off five to ten minutes later or apply damp chamomile tea bags for soothing relief.

Sulfur-based over-the-counter rosacea treatment options are very popular as well. This ingredient can be found in lotions and face cleansing bars. It is not unusual for patients to be advised to use both in combination for the most effective treatment of their rosacea symptoms. Sulfur is believed to be effective, as it contains antibacterial properties and is useful in removing dead skin cells and eliminating clogged skin pores.

Benzoyl peroxide is often used as an over-the-counter rosacea treatment as well as for acne and other skin blemishes. It is most commonly found in creams or ointments and greatly reduces the redness and swelling associated with rosacea and acne. Dermatologists warn that benzoyl peroxide can be drying and may actually increase dry skin problems for some rosacea patients. Patients should discontinue use and consult their physicians if this common side effect occurs. In most cases, sulfur products are advised for those who can not tolerate benzoyl peroxide.

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Discuss this Article

burcidi
Post 6

@turkay1-- I don't think it's a good idea to use corticosteroid cream on a regular basis. It definitely will help with rosacea symptoms because it treats inflammation. But using steroids every day for long periods can be dangerous. It can have adverse side effects and worsen rosacea over the long-term.

Dermatologists do sometimes prescribe steroid creams for rosacea, but as far as I know, it's always for a short time to relieve symptoms temporarily.

If you're looking for an OTC rosacea treatment, why don't you try sulphur soap? I've had good results with sulphur soap and plus, it's natural.

serenesurface
Post 5

This may seem like an odd product to use, but baby rash cream is a great OTC acne and rosacea treatment. It has zinc in it which relieves dryness and swelling. Zinc also protects from the sun so it acts as a sunscreen.

I first heard about this on TV and gave it a try next day. I applied the cream before I went to bed and when I woke up, my skin was so much better. The redness, swelling and irritation was gone! I couldn't believe it. Zinc cream is also very affordable.

candyquilt
Post 4

Do you guys think it's a good idea to use OTC hydrocortisone cream for rosacea? My friend said that it helps relieve her rosacea symptoms, but is this safe?

pastanaga
Post 3

@Fa5t3r - I know it's easy for someone on the outside to say this, but the best thing you can do is just to accept what you've got. There's nothing to be gained from railing against it, and rosacea isn't pleasant, but most mild forms of it are better than a lot of other skin conditions.

Even if it was the worst thing in the world though, it's always better to accept things that you can't change and acne rosacea is currently one of those things.

Anyone who is judging you by the way you look with it is not someone whose opinion should matter to you, because they are a shallow person.

Fa5t3r
Post 2

@Mor - I think I'll have to try being better at regularly using sunscreen. I know it's a good thing, of course, but I always forget to use it in the morning.

And I've tried all kinds of stuff for my rosacea, including over the counter treatments, natural remedies, and even some prescribed medications. I just hate it. I find it so embarrassing. I really wish that doctors would discover a real cure for it already. But, I don't think they are even close to a breakthrough.

Mor
Post 1

Sunscreen really does make a huge difference and not just for rosacea. I have mild rosacea on my nose and I started using sunscreen because of that. I got into the habit of just applying it every day, winter or summer, because it seemed to help a little bit, although it's not the best natural acne rosacea treatment I've ever used.

Five years later and I'm completely grateful for it though. Even glad I had the rosacea, because it made me use the sunscreen.

I have the same kind of skin as my sister, but she doesn't use sunscreen unless she's going to the beach. And her skin is noticeably rougher and more wrinkled than mine now. Enough so that I know that in a few years there's going to be a major difference between us.

I still have the rosacea, and I guess I'll always have it, but at least I have nice skin elsewhere and will keep it into my older years.

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