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Skin Care and Diseases

Rosacea & tazorac

04/07/2006

Question:

I have a slight case of Rosacea which usually appears worse from the cold and wind. I do have some broken blood vessels. When I first discovered that I had Rosacea it was really bad with the redness and pimples. It has been under control for the past couple of years with an occasional break out. I know I have read that sun does not help it but in my case it does. I really would like to use Tazorac for my wrinkles. I am 49 years old and people commet on my youthful appearance. Do you think Tazorac would be bad for my rosacea?

Answer:

Retinoids topically, such as Retin A and Tazorac, can be very beneficial in some cases of rosacea.  Although they are usually not considered the primary treatment, I have supplemented the more standard treatments with retinoids with satisfactory results.  I am rather surprised that the sunlight is helpful to your rosacea because it usually promotes glare. 

In any event, you should be careful about exposing yourself to sunlight because it can and does potentiate the aging of your skin.  I recommend that you use sunscreens on a regular basis, and certainly if you are going to use retinoids you must use sunscreens since they tend to make you quite sun sensitive while they are being used. 

Recognize that retinoids are not considered first line treatment for rosacea and as such you may well have to pay for their use out of pocket. 

Good luck! 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati