Section : Articles

Rosacea (Acne Rosacea): another topical treatment

  • Rosacea is a common dermatological condition affecting 0,5 – 1 % of the population which represents over 15 million individuals in the United States
  • It is sometimes classified in stages 1 (erythema and telangiectasia), 2 and 3 (rhinophyma).
  • It is an important cause of distress and social withdrawal. Around 60% of individuals with stage 1 and 85% of those with stage 3 report an influence in social functioning – refusal of food and drinks is quite common (as these are triggers of flares).
  • Treatment is symptomatic, not curative.
  • Conventional treatments include topical antibiotics (metronidazole), topical azelaic acid, oral antibiotics (cyclines)…
  • Recent studies introduce  brimonidine tartrate:
  1. it is a vasoconstrictor with acts selectively on the alpha2 adrenergic receptor.
  2. it is used at a concentration of 0,5%.
  3. it is applied topically once  a day.
  4. reduction of redness can already be seen after  30 minutes and studies ssuggest a maximum effect somewhere between 6 and 12 hours after.


  • Another vasoconstrictor called oxymetazoline is also currently being investigated.


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland
Source of information: 2013 (08) – Bowers J, Unlocking the mysteries of Rosacea – Dermatology World.