In using antibiotics to treat rosacea, the physician or dermatologist generally starts with a milder version of an oral antibiotic such as Oracea or Tetracycline and should be tapered off in three to five months but have been found to be prescribed for much longer periods of time. Because bacteria mutate very quickly the initial antibiotic may lose its effectiveness in just a few months. If the symptoms have shown improvement over this time, the decision may be made to switch to a topical antibiotic rather than a stronger oral antibiotic.
Topical steroids are available as creams, lotions, gels and ointments; selection of an appropriate product can also provide good moisturization of the skin. The wide spectrum of potencies and bases allows these mediations to be used both effectively and safely while under the care of an experienced physician.
During flares, over-the-counter moisturizing preparations that include a topical corticosteroid (such as clobetasone butyrate and hydrocortisone) are helpful to control inflammation and restore the skin barrier. The intensive use of emollient-based products can reduce the need for topical steroids.