Rosacea management: A comprehensive review

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 May;21(5):1895-1904. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14816. Epub 2022 Feb 14.


Rosacea is a chronic cutaneous disorder affecting primarily the face, characterized by erythema, transient or persistent, telangiectasia, and inflammatory lesions including papulo-pustules and swelling. The essential component of the disease is the persistent erythema of facial skin. Episodes of flushing (acute-subacute intermittent vasodilation) are common. Swelling and erythema of the nose along with dilatation of the pilosebaceous poral orifices, known as rhinophyma, can be noted in chronic cases. Rosacea affects up to 10% of the world population and is especially noted in fair-skinned individuals aged 35-50. Women are affected more often than men. Several treatment modalities including topical medications, systemic drugs, lasers, and light-based therapies have been used for the management of rosacea with variable results. Topical medications such as azelaic acid, metronidazole, and sulfacetamide/sulfur, oral antibiotics such as tetracyclines, and oral retinoids alone or, most commonly, in combination form the mainstay of treatment. Light therapies such as intense pulsed light and pulsed dye laser are best used for the erythemato-telangiectatic type. Topical brimonidine, oxymetazoline, ivermectin, tacrolimus, pimecrolimus, low-dose modified-release tetracyclines and botulinum toxin are the new additions to the therapeutic armamentarium. This article provides a comprehensive review of the various therapies used for rosacea.

Keywords: IPL; PDL; brimonidine; doxycycline; rosacea.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatologic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Erythema / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxymetazoline / therapeutic use
  • Rosacea* / drug therapy
  • Rosacea* / therapy
  • Telangiectasis* / drug therapy
  • Tetracyclines / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Tetracyclines
  • Oxymetazoline