Rosacea is a long-term skin disease that most often causes facial redness and swelling but it can affect the ears, neck, scalp, back, chest and even the eyes. All skin types can develop rosacea. Some rosacea sufferers have normal or oily skin while others have dry, flaky skin. Common triggers include hot or cold temperatures, sun exposure, emotional upset, spicy foods and alcohol. Moisturizers designed specifically for rosacea may help prevent irritation and itching and diminish redness, according to the National Rosacea Society or NRS.
Azelaic acid is contained in barley, rye and wheat and is used topically to treat acne and rosacea, according to the University of Michigan Health System.
Azelaic acid encourages the skin to renew itself more swiftly and helps to kill the bacteria that causes rosacea and skin blemishes.
Azelaic acid cream requires a prescription. It is often applied in the morning and again at night. It should be used only under the care of your doctor.
A barrier-repair product goes beyond the normal effects of a moisturizer to soften and coat the skin, according to RosaceaNet. When used regularly, barrier-repair emollients may decrease the redness associated with rosacea. Ask your doctor about a barrier-repair product that won't irritate your skin.
Topical creams are often used in conjunction with oral antibiotics to help fight rosacea.
Prescription cortisone creams may diminish redness caused by rosacea, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD). However, when used improperly cortisone creams may cause thinning of the skin, cautions the AAD. Closely follow the directions of your dermatologist when using a cortisone cream to treat rosacea.
Tretinoin cream, brand name Retin-A, may be prescribed in stubborn cases of rosacea such as when antibiotics were only partially successful or failed completely, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Tretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that is most commonly used to treat acne and skin wrinkles.
Sunscreen with a sun protection factor or SPF of 15 or higher should be applied regularly to protect the face, advises the National Rosacea Society. If chemical sunscreens cause stinging try using sunblocks that contain titanium or zinc oxide.