Which medications in the drug class Acne Agents, Topical are used in the treatment of Rosacea?

Updated: Jun 03, 2021
  • Author: Agnieszka Kupiec Banasikowska, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Acne Agents, Topical

Some products in this category can be effective in patients with papules, pustules, and the phymatous and glandular types of rosacea.

Benzoyl peroxide (Benzig, PanOxyl, Zapzyt, Acne Clear Maximum Strength)

Free-radical oxygen is released upon administration and oxidizes bacterial proteins in sebaceous follicles, decreasing the quantity of irritating free fatty acids and of anaerobic bacteria. It is converted on skin into benzoic acid, which has keratolytic and comedolytic effects. However, it can be quite irritating in patients with barrier dysfunction and can cause further erythema. Benzoyl peroxide is available over the counter and by prescription. It is available in 2.5%, 5%, and 10% gels, lotions, creams, or washes.

Azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea)

Azelaic acid is available in 2 strengths, as a 15% gel or foam (Finacea), or azelaic acid 20% cream (Azelex). It is effective against mild-to-moderate papulopustular rosacea. Azelaic acid can be used twice daily as initial treatment. It may reduce the production of ROS by neutrophils. Some patients report transient burning or stinging.

Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur (Klaron, Ovace)

Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur contains 5% sulfur and 10% sodium sulfacetamide. It is used topically for acne rosacea. Sodium sulfacetamide has antibacterial properties, whereas sulfur is considered an antiseptic with keratolytic action.

Ivermectin topical (Soolantra)

The mechanism by which ivermectin topical treats rosacea lesions is unknown. It is indicated for inflammatory lesions caused by rosacea.

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