How Mild Rosacea Is Treated

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Many treatment options can help reduce the facial redness or bumps caused by mild rosacea. Treatments include home remedies, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, prescription gels or creams, and procedures like laser treatments and microneedling.

Learn about mild rosacea and the available treatment options, including home remedies, lifestyle approaches, over-the-counter (OTC) therapies, prescriptions, and more.

Woman applying cream to bumps on her face.

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Home Remedies and Lifestyle

Rosacea, including mild rosacea, can be brought on by many different triggers, such as stress, heat, alcohol, and certain foods. Making lifestyle changes to avoid these triggers is one way to treat rosacea. For example, many people with rosacea find that changing their diet can relieve their symptoms and prevent flares.

Dietary changes that may help treat rosacea include:

  • Limiting hot foods and drinks such as coffee
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding certain spices and peppers, especially those that have the natural chemical capsaicin
  • Avoiding foods that have the natural chemical cinnamaldehyde, found in cinnamon, tomatoes, chocolate, and more
  • Eating plenty of fiber, such as apples, beans, and berries
  • Eating plenty of probiotic foods, such as kefir, miso, and sauerkraut

Other home remedies that can help treat mild rosacea include:

  • Learning of and avoiding triggers that bring on rosacea symptoms
  • Avoiding the sun and protecting your skin when you are in it
  • Using only water or very mild skincare products on the face or affected areas

It may also help exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking, and treat other health concerns.

In addition to redness and bumps in mild rosacea, more severe cases may involve swelling, breakouts, thickened skin, bumps, or irritated eyes.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Therapies

Treating mild rosacea mainly concerns avoiding putting things on the skin that can lead to a flare-up of symptoms. It is less about applying or taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Even so, some OTC options are available. It's important to consult with your healthcare provider first before using any OTC remedies.

Over-the-counter treatments for rosacea may include:

  • Sodium sulfacetamide (also available in prescription products)
  • Sulfur (also available in prescription products)
  • Retinol (available in prescription products as retinoid)


In addition to home remedies, lifestyle changes, and OTC therapies, prescription medications are available to treat rosacea. These may be gels or creams applied to the affected skin or medications taken orally (by mouth). The medications prescribed may differ according to your rosacea symptoms. Redness and bumps or breakouts are the two prominent symptoms of mild rosacea.

The following prescriptions may treat symptoms of redness from rosacea:

  • Brimonidine (topical gel)
  • Rhofade (oxymetazoline) (topical cream)

The following prescriptions may help treat bumps and breakouts caused by rosacea:

  • Azelaic acid
  • Metronidazole (gel or cream)
  • Sodium sulfacetamide (also available in OTC products)
  • Sulfur (also available in OTC products)
  • Retinoid (also available in OTC products as retinol)
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) (low dose)
  • Isotretinoin (formerly Accutane, rarely used for mild rosacea)

Specialist-Driven Procedures

Procedures that can help treat rosacea redness, blood vessels, and scars include:

  • Laser treatments and other light-based therapy: These options are used to treat visible blood vessels and skin that has thickened due to rosacea.
  • Fractional microneedling radiofrequency: This procedure uses needles and radiofrequency energy to create a controlled wound under the skin's surface that stimulates new growth. It has been shown to reduce rosacea redness.
  • Combined treatments: A combination of procedures are often used together to address different symptoms

Although people with mild rosacea can benefit from procedures such as laser treatments, it is generally best to first start with lifestyle changes and non-medicinal options, like avoiding triggers.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment options are natural therapies used along with or instead of medicinal therapies. Nearly 40% of people who use CAM options to treat their rosacea feel it is beneficial and helps to improve their symptoms.

CAM options for rosacea may include:

  • Herbs such as licorice, feverfew, green tea, oatmeal, lavender, chamomile, tea tree oil, and camphor oil to address inflammation
  • Physical activities such as tai chi, yoga (excluding Bikram or hot yoga), and pilates
  • Stress relief practices to manage emotional stress, one of the biggest rosacea triggers


Mild rosacea is a medical condition that affects the skin and may involve redness, visible blood vessels, bumps, and inflammation. It is most often treated with home remedies, lifestyle changes, and sometimes, over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications or medical procedures, such as laser therapy.

While treatment plans often combine therapies for mild rosacea, the focus is on avoiding the triggers that cause symptoms, such as heat and sun exposure, stress relief, food choices, and other lifestyle changes. Healthcare providers, such as dermatologists, can help develop a care plan based on your symptoms and preferences.

A Word From Verywell

Living with rosacea can be bothersome, especially when possible triggers of your symptoms are unknown. If you or someone you know is managing rosacea, reach out to a healthcare provider for support. It is possible to manage symptoms and live a healthy life.

16 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Ashley Olivine, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Ashley Olivine is a health psychologist and public health professional with over a decade of experience serving clients in the clinical setting and private practice. She has also researched a wide variety psychology and public health topics such as the management of health risk factors, chronic illness, maternal and child wellbeing, and child development.