Long-term treatment with topical medication alone was found to effectively keep rosacea at bay in a multicenter clinical study reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
In the study, after being successfully treated with a combination of oral and topical antibiotics to bring their rosacea under initial control, 88 rosacea sufferers were randomly assigned to use alone either a topical antibiotic or the same topical gel without the antibiotic (placebo) twice daily for six months.
After six months, more than 80 percent of those using topical therapy remained in remission, while 40 percent of those who used the placebo had relapsed. Moreover, the patients treated with topical medication experienced just half as many papules or pustules after the six months as those treated with the placebo. Redness also recurred less often in those treated with the medication.
"Because long-term use of oral antibiotics carries risks for systemic complications and adverse reactions, topical therapy is preferred for long-term rosacea therapy, and it has been associated with minimal side effects," said Dr. Mark Dahl, chairman of dermatology at the University of Minnesota, lead investigator for the clinical study.