No Rose-Colored Glasses: How Antibiotics Can Help You Fight Your Rosacea

8 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Life with rosacea – a condition that affects an estimate of 16 million of people in the United States alone, most of them women – is never easy. You have to constantly be aware of whatever could get on your skin and damage it, and using makeup to cover up red patches and persistent acne only makes the irritation of your skin worse. But with all the treatments – new and old – out there for rosacea, how do you know which one to pick? If you're looking for information on one of the most promising rosacea treatments to be discovered, then here's what you need to know about how pro- and anti-biotics can help tone that redness.

No Cream, No Problem

If you're expecting to hear about another thick, sticky cream to slather on your face and neck, think again. Cream- or cleanser-based rosacea treatments can cause bacterial interference, which stops the body from putting out an immune reaction to foreign particles. These creams actually stop your body from fighting off the bacteria that causes flare-ups, which can make your rosacea appear even worse than it did before you put on the cream. However, probiotic and antibiotic treatments don't come in a cream; in fact, it's recommended that you ingest them with food in order to best get them into your system.

Pro- and Anti-

So what's the difference between the two treatments? Probiotics help to cultivate "good" bacteria within the body, while antibiotics get rid of the bacteria altogether. There's always a risk with probiotics (and foods high in probiotics, like Greek yogurt) that it could actually trigger an attack or even make your rosacea worse. Antibiotics, have until now only been used in severe cases, don't run the same risk of you flaring up; instead of introducing good bacteria, antibiotics take the bad bacteria out of the equation. However, probiotics don't contribute to the problem of antibacterial resistance, whereas antibiotics do.

"And", Not "Either"

However, as good as these treatments can be for your rosacea, they're not a complete healing regimen without being combined with other treatments. When treated with standard rosacea treatment such as anti-acne medication, pro- and antibiotic treatments can strengthen the barrier between your skin and the outside world, reducing any drying or otherwise irritating effects that can occur. This combination can also, most importantly, reduce the obvious redness that comes with rosacea, giving you the same effect as concealing makeup without the irritation to your skin. Talk to a dermatologist, like East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC, for more help.