What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common chronic (long-term) skin disorder that normally affects the face, usually the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. It is most common in adults aged between 30 and 60 years old and in people with fair skin. It can cause distress to those who have it, particularly when it has been going on for a long time. 

Rosacea usually starts with episodes of facial flushing/ blushing that develop into more permanent redness of the skin. This redness is often associated with a burning or stinging sensation. Spots can develop in these areas and the small blood vessels in the skin start to become more prominent. In severe cases, thickening of the skin around the nose (known as rhinophyma) and eye problems (dryness, redness, or grittiness) can develop. The type and severity of symptoms can vary significantly.

Rosacea is a ‘relapsing-remitting’ condition, which means that you will have periods where it flares (relapsing) and times when it settles (remitting). The frequency and duration of both these phases are unpredictable.  

There are some things you can do to try and manage your rosacea without medication. You should:

  • Protect your face from the sun
  • Avoid perfumed products on your skin (such as perfumed moisturiser & cleansers)
  • Be gentle with the skin on your face, do not scrub/ rub.
  • Identify your personal triggers and avoid these (for example, alcohol, heat or spicy foods)

If medication is required, creams or gels are used for mild to moderate symptoms and oral antibiotics for more severe symptoms. Sometimes, a combination of both types of treatment is required. The medications we offer through this service are: 

  • Rozex Gel (metronidazole gel 0.75%)
  • Skinoren (azelaic Acid 15% gel)
  • Soolantra (Ivermectin cream)
  • Doxycycline (oral antibiotic tablet)
  • Lymecycline (oral antibiotic tablet)

Treatment for this condition includes some antibiotics. It is believed that it is the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of these medications that provide the benefit. It usually takes up to 3 weeks before any significant improvement is observed, but it can take up to 12 weeks. A common reason for treatment failure is that patients give up before the treatment course is given a reasonable amount of time to work. A maximum treatment course is 12 weeks (3 months). 

If your symptoms settle, there is a possibility they may return over time and a repeat course of treatment may be required. 

Using this service is intended for people with stable, controlled Rosacea who regularly see a GP or a skin specialist. We strongly advise that any new symptoms or changes in your symptoms be reported to your GP. 

There are many treatments that can help alleviate rosacea symptoms. Fill out the questionnaire below to see if you are suitable for one of our treatments. 

Who is this service for?

This service is  suitable for you only if: 

  • You have been diagnosed with rosacea by a doctor in the past. 
  • You are able to upload a recent picture of your rosacea.
  • You are not pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You require the rosacea treatments listed below: 
    • Rozex Gel (metronidazole gel 0.75%)
    • Skinoren (azelaic Acid)
    • Soolantra (Ivermectin cream)
    • Doxycycline (antibiotic)
    • Lymecycline (antibiotic)

This service is not suitable for you if:

  • You have not been diagnosed with rosacea by a doctor in the past
  • You are not able to upload a recent picture (taken within the last 12 months) of your rosacea.
  • You are looking for medication other than Rozex Gel, Skinoren (Azelaic acid), Lymecycline or Doxycycline.
  • You are looking for a prescription for Roaccutane. 
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • You have eye symptoms or rhinophyma (excessive thickening of the skin around the nose) associated with rosacea 
  • At any time in the past, you have had a sudden onset of eye pain or redness associated with rosacea. 

Please noteInflammation/ infection in the front of your eye is a potentially serious, sight-threatening problem. Thankfully, this is uncommon, but you should speak with a doctor if you have rosacea and develop pain in your eye or visual disturbance.

  • You have a history of other skin conditions that affect your face (including acne) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) 

How the service works

  • Online consultations with Irish based doctors
  • Our doctors issue a prescription if medically safe and suitable
  • Valid in any Irish pharmacy to buy your medication
  • Prescription sent to your chosen pharmacy via secure email (Healthmail) within minutes of approval

Note: We can only ever prescribe for this treatment for patients that are at least 17 years of age.

The service is provided in accordance with your scheme rules and table of benefits, which you can find on Member Area on or by calling 021 202 2000.