Rosacea can't be cured, but it can be managed. The sooner you're diagnosed and begin treatment, the more likely you are to respond to it. Moreover, rosacea patients who continue treatment even when their symptoms are in remission tend to fare much better in the long run than those who don't. Continuous treatment may prevent a flare-up or at least lengthen the time between flare-ups [source: National Rosacea Society].
For treatments that don't involve a prescription, try mild skin cleansers and a daily application of sunscreen. Look for something with an SPF of at least 15 that's formulated for kids or people with sensitive skin. But you may find a benefit in getting a doctor involved -- even though there's no proven connection between bacteria and rosacea, antibiotics are an effective treatment to control the disease's facial flush, its pustules and papules, spider veins and thick nose bumps. Mild rosacea will often respond to a topical antibiotic, but oral antibiotics work faster. Oral antibiotics work especially well to treat rosacea problems in the eyes (ocular rosacea). Most people see significant improvement within one to two months [source: IRF].
Treatment may also include surgery, such as in the removal of bumps and excess skin from the nose, one of the possible complications of rosacea. Lasers and other forms of light therapy can be very effective in reducing or eliminating some of rosacea's most distressing effects. A recent study found that patients reported "significant improvement" of flushing, persistent redness and visible blood vessels after just one treatment with the pulsed dye laser treatment. Further improvement came with additional treatments [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Other types of lasers may be used depending upon specific symptoms. Non-laser light treatments, such as Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL), have also successfully treated rosacea symptoms, including breakouts. As with laser therapy, multiple treatments are required.
Not every rosacea patient will benefit from laser or light therapy, and certain medical conditions may rule out this treatment for some. For example, insulin-dependent diabetics or patients with a clotting disorder may make poor candidates for this treatment [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Treatment is crucial, as patients with rosacea can suffer from aggravating complications. Read on to learn more about these complications.