At a symposium during a recent meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Mark V. Dahl, chairman of Dermatology, University of Minnesota, noted that to ensure the effectiveness of topical antibiotic therapy for rosacea, patients must spread the medication over the entire face.
"Some patients may apply topical therapy to individual papules and pustules, much as they may have treated acne when they were younger," said Dr. Dahl. "It is important to use this medication over the entire face as a preventive measure for it to be useful."
Physicians typically prescribe a combination of oral and topical antibiotics to bring rosacea under immediate control. Then the topical medication alone is continued over the long term to maintain remission of symptoms, since long-term treatment with oral antibiotics has been associated with nausea, gastrointestinal upset, phototoxicity and vaginal infection.