Topical metronidazole is a commonly used medication for rosacea. Although metronidazole is widely known as an antibiotic, it is more likely that it is the anti-inflammatory property of metronidazole that improves the rosacea.
Doxycycline is another antibiotic that can be used to treat rosacea. Like metronidazole, when doxycycline is used to treat rosacea, it is used for its anti-inflammatory properties rather than for its antibiotic properties. Doxycycline is a medication that is taken by mouth.
Azelaic acid is effective against mild to moderate rosacea. It is applied as a gel or cream to the skin, and also works by reducing inflammation.
Sodium sulfacetamide and other sulfur products are also useful to treat rosacea when the rosacea is somewhat acne-like in its appearance. These medications reduce skin inflammation.
Cortisone containing creams can be used to reduce the redness of rosacea. When they are used, their use should be limited to no more than two weeks.