Two of the most common treatment options prescribed in the treatment of rosacea are metronidazole cream and finacea gel. Both these topical antibiotics are prescribed for the mild to moderate symptoms of rosacea, but is one better than the other? Based upon research that has been undertaken, I will discuss how effective these creams are and whether one is more effective than the other.
Topical metronidazole was first reported as an effective treatment of rosacea back in 1983 and remains the most popular treatment option today. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic which helps to reduce inflammation and to treat bacterial infections. It’s available in lotion, cream and gel form and is commonly prescribed as metrogel, acea, anabact, metrosa, rosiced, rozex and zyomet.
Studies have shown that it is effective in treating mild to moderate rosacea, significantly reducing papulopustular lesions, but it is less effective in treating redness of the face. The use of this topical antibiotic cream is generally well tolerated and only small percentage of people report side effects such as burning, stinging, dryness and itching. Compared to taking oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, topical metronidazole has been shown to maintain remission from further relapses of rosacea.
Even though metronidazole has been a popular choice for many years, there is now a new kid on the block. In 2003 finacea gel was brought onto the market to also addressing mild to moderate rosacea. Finacea gel contains azelaic acid which is found naturally in wheat, rye and barley. In studies comparing finacea gel and metronidazole, the results have shown that finacea was significantly better in reducing redness of the face, papules and pustules. Finacea also produced a better overall improvement. However, it was found that metronidazole caused far less skin irritation than finacea gel.
In conclusion, both these topical antibiotic preparations have their pros and cons. Metronidazole causes less irritation, but is not as effective in treating redness of the face, whereas finacea gel is significantly more effective in reducing facial redness, but can cause more irritation to the skin.
Both metronidazole and finacea gel are obtained by prescription only for the treatment of mild to moderate rosacea. With the facts in hand, you can discuss the pros and cons of which is the best rosacea treatment cream to use with your doctor of dermatologist.