A Patient's Guide to Rosacea
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Rosacea Treatment:

Topical Metronidazole

Metronidazole is a popularly used antibiotic to treat anaerobic bacteria, and in some cases, protozoa infections. Since at least 1980, dermatologists have been using this antibiotic as a way to treat roscaea symptoms.


The treatment should be applied to the affected area once or twice a day. Generally, the medication is applied on the whole face.

Expected results:

The goal of the treatment is to reduce inflammatory pustules or papules on the face, and is effective in treating acne-rosacea. Topical metronidazole will not have an effect in reducing redness and flushing symptoms. Improvement is gradual and may take up to 3 months to see its full effect.

How it works:

It has an antibiotic effect, as well as an anti-inflammatory effect, which is thought to quell the acne-like symptoms. The anti-bacterial effect may help control demodex mites, which may play a role in rosacea, although this has yet to be conclusively established.


Burning and irritation are the most common side-effects for topical use if this drug.

  • Metrogel 0.75%
  • Metrocream 0.75% - Galderma
  • Metrolotion 0.75%
  • Noritate 1% - Dermik
  • Rosasol 1% plus sunscreen - Stiefel (Canada only)