Finacea User Reviews

Finacea is a topical rosacea treatment made by Intendis. Its main active ingredient is azelaic acid 15%. Officially, finacea “is a topical treatment for the inflammatory bumps and lesions of mild to moderate rosacea”.

Other topical and systemic treatments exist for the papules and pustules of rosacea, so finacea is not your only choice for treating these rosacea symptoms.

A 20% cream formulation of Azelaic Acid (Azelex, Allergan) and (Skinoren, Schering) has been marketed since 1996 for the treatment of acne.

In the last few years several papers have been published comparing finacea to other topicals, and most importanly for us, assessing finacea’s efficacy in treating some rosacea symptoms.

A 2003 article titled A Comparison of 15% Azelaic Acid Gel and 0.75% Metronidazole Gel in the Topical Treatment of Papulopustular Rosacea found that “Azelaic acid gel was superior to metronidazole gel in reduction of mean nominal lesion count and mean percent decrease in inflammatory lesions”. Neither treatment had a clinically appreciable effect on telangiectasia. Benefits from using metronidazole plateauxed after 8 weeks, but continued to be seen by those using azelaic acid.

This study showed azelaic acid was better than metronidazole, even more so than the 1999 study titled A comparison of topical azelaic acid 20% cream and topical metronidazole 0.75% cream in the treatment of patients with papulopustular rosacea. This 1999 study concluded that 20% azelaic acid cream was merely a safe and effective alternative to metronidazole 0.75%.

Another 2003 article titled Efficacy and safety of azelaic acid (15%) gel as a new treatment for papulopustular rosacea: Results from two vehicle-controlled, randomized phase III studies showed that 15% azelaic acid gel was significantly better at reducing papules and pustules than the vehicle gel (i.e. compared to a preparation without the active ingredient).

A followup paper in 2004 titled Azelaic Acid 15% Gel: In the Treatment of Papulopustular Rosacea summarized the 2 cited 2003 papers above. Additionally one can find published papers relating to azelaic acid and the treatment of perioral dermatitis and acne.

Does Finacea Treat Redness?

With regards to treating the erythema (redness) of rosacea, only erythema in the presence of papules and pustules has been studied. Thus finacea’s affect on transient erythema is unknown.

Finace Adverse Reactions

Finacea is not suitable to those with a sensitivity to propylene glycol. About 20% of various trialists report mild side effects from using finacea, compared to 14% using just the vehicle gel. See the prescribing information for more warnings and safety usage information.

A 2004 paper titled Noxious sensory perceptions in patients with mild to moderate rosacea treated with azelaic acid 15% gel was unable to prove via the lactic acid facial sting test (and others) that azelaic acid caused increases in the senstivity of 40 mild to moderate rosacea sufferers.

A 2005 paper titled Cumulative irritation potential of metronidazole gel compared to azelaic acid gel after repeated applications to healthy skin found that when applied to healthy skin, metronidazole gel was less irritating than azelaic acid.

Finacea Coupons

From time to time Finacea offers discount coupons. Here is an offer to save $10 per prescription.

Is Finacea a Winner?

What has been your experience with Finacea ? Would you recommend it to other rosacea sufferers ? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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About the Author

About the Author:

David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998.

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202 Reader Comments

  1. Maisiemiss says:

    Am I the only one for whom Finacea isnt working? I have been applying twice a day on affected areas (I have severe Rosacea with lots of pustules/papules). All the Finacea seems to do is dry the skin until it peels off leaving the papules/pustules behind.The pustules swell up and eventually burst but then I am left with huge swollen black scabs with peeling skin around them (3 on my nose as I write this which have now been there 3 weeks – impossible to disguise with make up). I am also taking doxycycline (both prescribed by dermatologist) but neither appear to help. I have tried to eliminate foods but cannot work out what is affecting me because the pustules develop very slowly and I have now lost over 1 stone, which I really didnt need to. My hair has also started to drop out and is going very thin – no idea if this is related to the rosacea or not. I am going to the doctors (again) today but as UK doctors really dont understand rosacea I am not holding out any hope. (Wish I lived in USA or Australia as they seem much more on the ball with this condition). I have been extremely depressed over the past few weeks – I hate not being able to leave the house because I dont want people staring at me – and going to work is a nightmare but has to be done.

  2. mike briggs says:

    Hi

    I don’t use finacea or any topical creams, as nothing has seemed to help me at all here in Australia over the years and often just makes me worse, as my skin is so thin and dry and fragile now at age 47!

    I’ve not been very compliant with antibiotics for very long over the years, as they make me feel quite sick with long term use and they dont help with the severe flushing at all, which is my main problem now after 20 years and the severe, intense burning that comes with it and the underlying redness which is so much more obvious for most of the time now!

    The doxycline is really a mixed bag and will help some folk and not others. but
    only ever while using it for the long term, that is if one can maintain a good
    regimen with it, without too many side effects and discomforts!

    Too many foods can cause flare ups of course, especially those with the amines in them, so one must try to cut down or eliminate those as best one can, as well as
    as all thermally hot foods and liquids and spicy foods too of course. ..and no warm
    to hot rooms which of course is not easy to do in a colder country such as the UK!

    Your hair problem is not directly related as such but it could be due to an underactive thyroid problem, which is so easily overlooked by too many doctors, both here in Australia and in the US and around the world in general. Too many people are suffering with many symptoms, as it often gets worse from remaining undiagnosed and not treated appropriately! I have an underactive thyroid that is making me quite ill and no doubt aggravating my rosacea as well. Many symptoms include hair loss, very dry skin, weight gain and depression, as well as muscle weakness and cramping, which all get progressively worse if left unchecked! It is often a complex issue to deal with and needs to be addressed on an individual basis.

    Many docs here, both gp’s and dermo’s and even some endocrinologists too, (thyroid specialists, glands etc) do not know not enough about this affliction either and it’s severe impact on those living and suffering with rosacea and also with those folk who are living and working with them and around them!

    My sympathies to you, as I do have some understanding of what you are going
    through at present. My severe facial burning pain and redness which I have nearly all the time and with no real relief in sight as yet, makes me feel very isolated and keeps me indoors now as a rule!

    Please do seek to have a full thyroid check up, especially if there might be a family history of problems, like there is in mine. The TSH levels need to be in the range of 0.3 to 3 maximum and no higher than this, ie after two or more tests of at least 2 months apart. The higher the TSH above 3..ie up to 9 or more, the more likely is it getting out of hand. The T4 thyroxine level needs to be in the range 7 to 21 and the thyroid antibody levels need to be lower than 60 as a rule. If the outer third of the eyebrows is missing or is sparse, it is often a good indicator of an underactive thryroid problems ( ie hypothyoidism.)!

    I hope to hear back fom you again to see how things are going for you.

    kind regards Mike B

  3. MaisieMiss says:

    Hi Mike
    Thanks for your support – very much appreciated.
    As expected, my GP was very negative and said the NHS dieticians would not be able to help with rosacea/diet! Even when I said I would go private he was still against this and said that no food groups should be eliminated as rosacea was not necessarily food related and was very complex! So should I go back to drinking alcohol, eating chocolate, dairy, gluten??? I wouldnt do this as I am petrified of eating anything which may cause these awful flare ups.

    On a positive side, he has arranged for me to have blood tests next week to check my thyroid but again I’m not sure the tests over here are as thorough as you get in Australia but will let you know via my blog.

    In the meantime, I am keeping going with the Finacea and antibiotics and hoping that these awful scabs/swellings go down – 2 weeks now!

    Kind regards
    MaisieMiss

  4. geri says:

    Finacea gel 15% has worked for me over 10 years. I get it from Canada about $30.00 for 30 G tube. Here is the USA it is $138.00!!
    The dermatologist gave me the contact info to Canada.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi I don’t know if you still check this site but where are you getting the Finacea?
      I live in Canada and I thought it was only available by prescription. Are you getting it online?
      Michele

    • mel so says:

      Can you give me the information for Canda? It is costing me 250!!#

  5. Michael says:

    I’ve had terrible, severe male pp rosacea since I was teen…condition was also misdiagnosed for many years and made life terrible. After dozens of different alternative and conventional treatments, what’s worked very well (literally 95% improvement) is once daily wash with sodium sulfa and sulfur 5% (it is available as a cheap generic now, but used to be called Prascion), AND 1x day of finacea AND oracea.

  6. Maisie Miss says:

    Not sure we can get sodium sulfa and sulfer 5% in UK. – Does anyone know?

  7. mary flores says:

    my dematogist has prescribed Finacea for my dark brown spots (severe on my cheeks) Melasma. Do you think this will help?

  8. Sheri says:

    Greetings! What a fantastic forum/support group. Rosacea can be very tough to deal with and the advice and testimonials are terrific.

    My issue: I developed Rosacea when I was 38. It was a mild case that Minocycline seemed to solve. Metro Gel was also prescribed for me, but in my experience it did not do anything. Recently, I moved across the country and the stress of the move and looking for a job seemed to cause my Rosacea to become inflamed. Specifically, my chin developed large cystic spots that hurt. I panicked and went to the local dermatologist.

    The Regimen That Worked: My dermatologist prescribed 100 mg. Doxycyline twice a day, plus Finacea topical. She also threw in Nicazel, a very expensive “super vitamin.” As others have mentioned Finacea is also very pricey. It has been a few weeks and I’m cautious but it seems to be working. To cleanse my face, I use the very mild Cera Ve (as my doc recommended) and the Neutrogena clear face sunscreen/lotion. Cera Ve night lotion also seems to work well.

    Other Comments: I seemed to always have a cystic flare around my monthly cycle due to the hormone release (I guess). It was one or two of the painful cystic spots on my chin. I looked into anti-flammatory herbs for Rosacea sufferers and recently added an herbal supplement called Estratone to help balance my hormones. I also added some Ginger root and Turmeric root supplements from the local vitamin store. I take these with meals. I am fascinated by all of the natural remedies out there, and my long-term goal is to get off antibiotics and treat this naturally. I have also changed my diet: I am eating lots of fresh veggies and fruit and avoiding the foods the experts say inflame Rosacea (red wine, spicy foods, tomatoes). Yoga and chamomile tea help me stay calm.

    I am hopeful that my progress will continue. I wanted to share my thoughts in the hope that I can help someone else who is suffering. Best of luck and remember you have our support!

  9. Maisie Miss says:

    Hi Mike B just to say thank you, you were so right. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid in December 2012. My thyroid readings were off the scale – I had lost nearly 2 stone as well as the hair loss, depression etc. Am now on medication which is controlling the thyroid so far, but still getting lumps and bumps (nice red lump on end of nose just now). My skin is so dry and flakes off in patches. Still not got any eyebrows – although have hairs growing everywhere I dont want them including over my eyebrows for about half an inch – no idea why this is happening but probably to do with the medication I am on. Trying to follow alkali diet which is definitely helping. I think the reason my skin was so bad in November last year was due to stress – I am convinced that rosacea is very much stress related (as well as food) – whenever I have slightest bit of stress, it shows in my skin. Most of the skin on my nose seems to have peeled off and I’m left with very rough skin with very large pores – not great. But have decided that it’s what I’ve been given to deal with and it could be much worse so the best thing is to get on with my life and try to ignore my skin. Despite what the TV/newspapers/magazines say, people are much more than their face and if that’s all people see then it only proves how shallow and superficial they are.

  10. mike briggs says:

    Hi Miss Maisie

    I’m so glad that you have found some real medical condition that is a plausible
    explanation for your hair loss, weight loss, and drier skin and which is generally
    making so many things, including your rosacea worse at times!

    I hope the medication to help normalise your thyroid gland continues to help
    mimimise some of the flare ups that seem to be aggravated by this overactive
    thyroid condition and also hoping that you can now get more peace of mind as
    time goes on!

    I can only assume that the TSH level was indeed very low.. even below 0.3
    perhaps? Either way, I’m glad that is being attended to now.
    Please feel free let me know again some time how things are going for you.

  11. Shaz says:

    My first visible signs of rosacea occurred in Aug 2012. My dermatologist prescribed Oracea & Finacea in Sep 2012 and my skin cleared up quickly. However, I was worried about taking Oracea and my primary care doctor convinced me to stop taking it (Mar 2013) because of possible side effects. About 30 days after discontinuing Oracea and using only Financea (religiously, 2 x per day), my skin is getting worse, most notably, bumps & pimples are back.

  12. Jeanie says:

    I was diagnosed with Rosacea years ago…I had used finecia previously. I too had the tingling in the face with finecia. I used an over the counter cleanser however it dried my face up so bad I was peeling for days even after I stoped using it.

    I went to my dermatologist and he recommended I stop the cleanser and stop the finecia instead to use hydrocortisone cream in which I did and it’s the best ever!!

    I don’t have the tingling any more and further more my face is so clear!

    I hope this helps.

  13. mike briggs says:

    Hi Jeanie

    Your dermo should not have prescribed hydrocortisone cream for you for this condition!

    No type of cortisone cream should be used for facial rosacea, not even the mildest potency! Please read from the experts in dermatology who will back this fact up
    as to why it should never be used!

    It will only make Rosasea worse in the long run and is even the cause for it if one has the steroid -induced type of rosacea! I’m sorry to say but this is a fact! If you want to have a clear face at the expense of much worse rosacea later on, in both looks and physical burning pain nearly all the time like me, then do ignore me and keep using it! I hope you will take notice though! This dermo is either practicing bad medicine out of inexcusable ignorance or simply doesn’t really care about
    you I’m sorry to say!

    I can assure you I know, as I’ve been there too many times already!
    I would rather have a messy looking face than a painful, burning one all the time.
    Mine can be quite clear at times while this burning is happening but it is still very misleading as as result, for the rosacea with all it’s complexity never goes away!

    Do take care.

  14. Kitty says:

    I used a different cream and Oracea for a few years and didn’t notice any difference. Then my derma switched me to Finacea with a higher dose suncream and wow, what a difference! This really did help clear up the red and so happy not to be taking a daily pill! I don’t know the cost, yet, however, as all I have used a samples from the derma office.

  15. shaz says:

    When I first stopped Oracea and relied only on Finacea, my skin worsened dramatically. I read from another post that flax seed oil caused her flare ups and from another that arnica helped. I had just started taking 1 Tbsp of flax seed oil each morning only month or so before I had my first flareup. So, I discontinued flax oil & started using arnica in addition to Finacea. A very big improvement. Turns out food/supplements are a big trigger.

  16. Theresa says:

    I have been using Finacea for about 3 weeks now, and am seeing some improvement, however the itching is about the drive me crazy! Any suggestions to help calm this?

    Also, do any of you have a suggestionon sunscreen to use that will not irritate the rosecea? Ones I have used in the past make my face extremely red and cause a breakout.

  17. tinaz1 says:

    I have tried the prescription medicine and creams my doctor gave me, no help, but I tried Finacea after reading some reviews, I applied it twice daily as per the instrucitons – it reduce my redness and I found the longer I used the more the redness reduced. I know what triggers my roscea and now with the use of the finacea I can continue my lifestyle. I have been using it for 3-4 months and now only apply every 2-4 days to control the redness/burning

  18. johnevo90 says:

    I have only been using Finacea for less than a week now and I have had a 50% improvement in my skin tone, my skin redness from years of rosacea has improved so I am quite happy with the results up to now.

  19. Kathy says:

    Hi All ~ thanks so much so for all the above info. I have had Rosacea for many years and after being on Minomyacin and different antibiotics for a few years ( which makes me concerned) but was and so far is the only method of controlling this horrid skin complaint… I have begun using the cream/ gel? Finacea. Yes a little stingy, but if it works ~ I will be thrilled. Won’t go off antibiotics just yet, have to see specialist again in 3 months. Apparently I have to wean myself off the antibiotics while keeping up with the use of the Finacea. Here in Australia we can be it over the counter at the pharmacy … Think it was about $29.90 and as I also had to pick up another script of Minomyacin ….will be pleasantly surprised if my skin clears up. All I can say is that ~ thank goodness I use makeup to camouflage my terrible skin! Here’s hoping for good things to happen !!! Thankyou again for this forum as I have only just come across it. It does help to know others are dealing with this nasty skin problem,

  20. kellie says:

    I used Finacea once. It turned my skin maroon and left me feeling like I was being whipped by stinging nettles.

    Metrogel 1% is fine for me. The dr rated my rosacea at 4 (on a 10 scale) when I started; it went down to 2.

    I wish the medication were not so expensive.

    Has anyone had success with dietary changes? I don’t mean eliminating triggers (I don’t think I have any dietary triggers), but seeing a real improvement after eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, fruit, etc.

  21. Robin Ames says:

    I was using Metrogel and it didn’t help at all, I started using the Financea Gel and my face cleared almost immediately, the swelling went down and no more breakouts. I wash with Dove unscented soap twice a day, then put on the Financea Gel. I also use Cerave Day Time Facial Moisturizer, my skin hasn’t looked this good in years.

  22. Mike says:

    Finacea was prescribed by my dermo for my rosacea. Have found an overseas supplier that offers much better price from pharmacies in the US.. Has anyone tried them? http://otcdrugsdirect.com/products/skinoren-finacea-15-azelaic-acid-50g-tube-rosacea-acne-treatment-by-intendis-bayer

  23. Raarnt says:

    I have just started treatment with Finacea as recommended by the Doc. My skin is quite flat and has diffuse redness and occational pimples. Since this cream is targeted towards papules/pustules I’m not entirely convinced it will work but will follow the programme for now. I am quite curious about the Sulfur 5% cleanser Michael mentioned. Can anybody please tell me where this is available from on-line? I live in Norway.

  24. joy jones says:

    dear Maisie Miss this sounds so much like what i was going thru ,the derm doctors always say its roseca but im tell you about what i friend told me to try and i know is sounds crazy but give a try please,,i promise it will help you this is why your losing hair and eye brows to ,,try the lotrimin ultra with only the butenafine hydrochloride cream in it….this is used for athleats feet,,but im telling you it will not hurt your face or anyother body part you put it on,and also helps with the dryness and redness and the bumps ,,help mine go away and stay away ,,every now and again i have a flare up and i put it out put it on and 3 days time all is well,give it a shot ,,goodluck

  25. Seana says:

    Can anyone tell me if you put moisturizer on before you apply Finacea? Thanks a million.

    • Jim says:

      I don’t. But it took a couple of weeks for my skin to adjust, after that my skin (nose) was fine, but I have oily skin.

  26. Grace Starcevich says:

    I have demodex rosacea (self diagnosed) & have been fighting with numerous doctors in Perth (Aust) for more than a year. Tried Finacea & other creams but nothing worked! The only things that do work are Ivermectin & ground cloves! Of course like Lyme disease demodex rosacea doesn’t exist in this country!!!

  27. Ing says:

    Hi all,

    If your rosacea is persistent, look at food intolerances. My big demon? Grains. No matter how much, no matter what time, I am begging the wraith of the red-nosed gods. It shrinks the hell back down to its usual miserable amount days after booting grains again. I did the RPAH elimination diet (strict) but didn’t improve, and the dietitian told me to eat rice & potatoes on the diet to prevent damn starvation. Ha! Nightshades are great for arthritic pain (as in, if you enjoy beingi n pain, eat more potatoes), and grains like attacking joints as well, and skin.

    I just started using Finacea and Mivarso. I never knew anything like the latter would exist. What a game-changer, if it continues to pale me out like this (I feel like I’m looking at something closer to the girl I was meant to be), and I’m sorry to you guys in countries other than Aus where these meds are criminally expensive. The Finacea irritates but I try to ignore it, and it’s killing acne and papules fast. The Mivarso, which is meant to work for 12 hours max, has been working over 24 (weeeeeird).
    Definitely going to be doing as much research as I can on natural treatments and triggers, especially for my ocular rosacea.

    Good luck, rosy ones! I honestly believe the connection between the gut and the face is huge, and while science is still a few years off knowing its asshole from its armpit with the GI microbiome and body health relationships, we can be investigators helping ourselves.

    • Ing says:

      *no matter what type. Of grain. Rice, millet, corn (corn is like Satan of the grain demons for me).

  28. lynn says:

    I have had rosacea for about 10 years now with occular rosacea too. February this year dermatologist prescribed mirvaso and finacea gels. I have very red cheeks which flush to the point of being painful. Don’t have pimples or pustules. Taking doxycycline one a day which definately helps with occular rosacea. Stopped it a few weeks back and eyelids red gritty itchy within 5 days of stopping it. Haven’t worked out triggers apart from hot and cold weather. Have really oily skin so have tried to find suncream without oil. Been using haiwian tropic for face which is oil free and spf30. Working well and not greasy. Great moisturiser too. Soaks in well on face unlike other suncreams. Been using finacea for a week now. So far my skin looks less red. Strange at first having non greasy face as I am used to being red and oily! Lovely picture I conjuring up! Yes finacea tingles at first but found this settled a bit after using it for 5 days. I am scared to try mirvaso as reviews were awful. Said caused rebound redness. Will keep u posted how finacea works over next few months.

  29. Nico says:

    I’ve dealt with Rosacea for about 25 years and have been prescribed almost everything on the market by various dermatologists. I’ve also read hundreds of reports about what does and doesn’t cause flare ups and the reality is no one really knows. It absolutely varies from person to person and no drug works that well for even a small majority of people. I don’t want to sound so negative but in my opinion the entire field of dermatology is nothing but a hit and miss guessing game, intended to fleece you (and your insurer) of as much money as they can.

  30. Suzanne says:

    Has anyone heard of drrondrucker.com that Rosacea can be cured as any autoimmune disease with pills .

  31. Eve says:

    Have any of you used the Finacea foam? I have and have left a review elsewhere on this site. I think it’s amazing. I don’t know anything about the gel. Try the foam if you can. The gel as I understand is more of a medicine for acne. I’ll post the same thing I posted elsewhere.

    I have moderate rosacea. Triggers out the ears. It’s impossible to avoid all of them some of which include the weather. Metrogel made me look like my face had been gone over with a cheese grater and even my nose swelled horribly. My dermatologist recommended this. It has been amazing. It really burned and was stinging for maybe 45 minutes at first. And my face was red for a while. After about a week my face broke out. That only lasted a few days. I was only using it at night at first. After a few weeks the burning and stinging got much better and lasts now only about five minutes or so and is hardly noticeable. When it dries it leaves a really nice matte finish. My face has not been this clear in probably 25 years. Most days I only use it at night. I know it’s expensive but in the past I tried Retin-A or Renova which my insurance did not pay for at all. It would be nice if they made it in a smaller size so that someone could pay less and use it only once a day. You can use a moisturizer over it if you’d like and I use any of the LaRoche Posay Toleriane moisturizers except for the Ultra one which breaks me out. I would really recommend you try it and stick with it for several weeks. My experience is years and years of even trying to get a diagnosis, then various meds, trying to figure out all the triggers, etc etc. To finally have found something is just wonderful. I am actually getting compliments on my skin!

  32. Jaimie says:

    I just wanted to say I had severe rosacea for years and many misdiagnosis’ from dermatologists who only prescribed acne medication or metrogel. Thankfully I found a derm who changed my life forever. My rosacea was so bad, I honestly felt hopeless, didn’t leave the house and the depression was so bad that I thought about ending my life. Thinking of suffering for the rest of my life with the painful, burning, stinging and roughness of rosacea seemed unthinkable. My dermatologist changed everything! I started seeing her in April 2016 and she prescribed Finacea in the AM, Rosiver in the PM and Apprilon daily for a few months. My face was clear and smooth by September 2016!!! I underwent 2 vascular laser treatments in the fall of 2016 and I couldn’t be happier! I could actually leave the house without makeup on! I just wanted to leave a note here for anyone who is suffering and is feeling hopeless, I hope you can find the right dermatologist to help you. Meeting mine has completely changed my life! To this day, I still use Finacea in the AM and Rosiver in the PM. I use Apprilon every few months, usually for 30 days. I never thought my skin could be this clear and smooth! Surprisingly, no scarring either. Stay strong my fellow rosaceans, there is hope!

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