Does Taking Antibiotics for Rosacea Work At All? Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that is treated in a variety of ways, including OTC creams, changing your eating and life habits, laser surgeries and also antibiotics. While everyone of these treatments has it’s positive and negative side, these antibiotics are meant for those who suffer from more severe forms of rosacea. While rosacea cannot be completely treated, its outbreaks can be severely contained, meaning that you can be have rosacea and have no symptoms of it(redness, inflammation).

Now, there are a few well known, prescription antibiotics available to be used, but which one would be the best for you?

Before the answer to that, know that all doctors will give you your own treatment plan that will be tailored only to you. However as a rule of thumb, the time you are orally consuming these antibiotics should be as low as possible, for you to not develop an immunity to them, which can lead to other unpredicted health problems.

2 Different Kinds Of Antibiotics

Right now, antibiotics used to treat rosacea are divided into 2 different groups:


  • Oral Antibiotics
    • doxycycline (Oracea)
    • erythromycin (Akne-mycin)
    • minocycline (Minocin)
    • tetracycline (Sumycin)
    • trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Septra)


  • Topical Antibiotics
    • metronidazole (MetroGel, MetroCream)

As the name suggests, oral antibiotics are consumed and mostly used at the start of any treatment when you are still not accustumed to it and when it has the highest effect on you. As the treatment goes on, it is then suggested to apply antibiotics directly to your skin, or topical antibiotics. Some OTC creams use a similar approach as well.

Studies have shown that treating with oral antibiotics definitely produces results.. For a while. If taken too long, the body develops immunity to it, and instead of positive effects, some negative side effects might develop:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions

All of these side effects usually happen because the antibiotics, when they dissolve, destroy some of the healthy stomach flora, making the food digestion a lot more volatile. This then results in not feeling well, feeling sick, vomiting and so on.

Recommended Antibiotics

As said, oral antibiotics give results, however they can have very unpleasant side effects so you might want to think twice if you want to have a treatment that you can keep using, to keep your rosacea condition in check for a very long time.

So the only group that is left, that doesn’t have a lot of side effects, is the topical antibiotics. These are antibiotics that have virtually no side effects at all, so they are much safer and much more suitable for long-term use. Especially since topical antibiotics are the only ones that can control rosacea over a long period of time without losing any of its power, compared to the oral antibiotics which you will over time develop immunity towards.

In essence, since these are prescription drugs any of the following ones will do just fine:


  • MetroGel
  • MetroCream
  • Noritate

However, be prepared to try another antibiotic if your doctor prescribes it, as you might be allergic to a certain ingredient in these antibiotics.

Any Alternatives?

Treating rosacea is a battle that needs to be fought every day, one day at a time. This can be made much easier with antibiotics, however you can only get those through the doctor’s prescriptions and sometimes, getting those can be a bit of a pain to put it mildly. So a similar alternative is to take a look at OTC cream solutions, which will contain ingredients that act similarly as antibiotics do.

And the most important property of these antibiotics isn’t the bacteria destroying property, but the anti-inflammatory property. Creams have these properties by having the ingredients that have them.