How to Cure a Red Face (Facial Erythema)


Many rosacea sufferers are looking for help to reduce the redness of their face.

This is one of the first rosacea symptoms that people might notice.

It is also one of the symptoms of rosacea that is sadly hardest to treat.

What treatments have fellow rosacea sufferers used to hide the ruddiness and angry face that sometimes accompanies rosacea ? Read on where I’ll go through what I see as your current best options.

Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom with your top tips too.

Eucerin Redness Relief

Eucerin Redness Relief is a new range of products from Beiersdorf that contains an extract from Licorice called Licochalcone. The reviews from members of the Rosacea Support Group are generally pretty good. There is also some published evidence that it might help with reducing the appearance of a red face.

Acne Cover Lotion

This particular product is really an acne product, but my personal experience is really positive. It contains sulphur and has a strong ability to cover lesions. I’d see this product as best suited to outbreaks of papules and pustules and possibly also for general larger areas of redness. For more information see Linda Sy’s Acne Cover Lotion. This product might not be suitable for the more sensitive skin types.

[update:] sadly Linda Sy has gone out of business and ACL is no longer available. If you find something suitable as a replacement please let everyone know in the comments below.

Tinted Sunscreens

It seems to me that tinted sunscreens are still underrated as a rosacea treatment. My favourite, that I continue to use every day is Linda Sy’s (now made by RosaceaCare) Tinted ZincO Cream. As well as offering protection from the sun and elements it can cover redness quite well. Even a small amount of flesh coloring in a sunscreen can really lift your self esteem. All red faced rosacea rosacea sufferers would love to feel that their face blends in with the crowd !

More reading on sunscreens here: Rosacea & Sunscreen articles.

Short Course Steroid Creams

In short stints, low dose steroids can help calm a red rosacea flareup. This should be viewed as a last resort, though.

However, I believe that when circumstance requires it, a short-term course of low potency non-fluorinated topical cortisone, on the face of non-rosacean, is not out of the question. There are times when it is important to control an acute condition as soon as possible, to prevent progression or complication and to give relief to the patient. Once this is achieved, a responsible physician will: 1) attempt to find the cause of the condition and treat it accordingly and 2) convey the message that cortisone cream should be discontinued and not be used long-term due to its many side effects such as peri-oral dermatitis, steroid addiction, steroid induced rosacea, skin atrophy etc.

As for rosacean skin, it is definitely a good idea to use all other alternative topicals or oral medications available, rather than use cortisone. This is, as you know, due to the highly excitable reactive skin and vasomotor instability of rosaceans.

Dr. Linda Sy, RSG Message 22628

You’ll get different answers from different doctors AND group members! My own experience with patients has been that if you use a low potency non-fluorinated topical steroid, short term to alleviate symptoms, it is ok.

Dr. Linda Sy, RSG Message 14960

Steroids should be used with care as over the counter steroids can cause steroid induced rosacea.

If you think you are suffering from steroid induced rosacea you might find this post from Dr. Linda Sy MD helpful: treating steroid induced rosacea.


IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light is perhaps the best known treatment for a red face. Recently there have been a couple of studies published that were able to prove that IPL is effective in reducing rosacea associated erythema (redness). A couple of great papers are Measuring Erythema (red face) after IPL and IPL is excellent for rosacea (and inded a 2007 followup also IPL excellent for treating red face and broken blood vessels).

I’ve collected a set of 16 items (at the time of writing this article) that are a great place to start if you are interested in IPL. See the IPL Articles category.

KTP Laser

There is some good published articles suggesting that the KTP Laser (KTP stands for Potassium Titanyl Phosphate) is also a good choice for a facial redness. This laser is not talked about much in the online rosacea groups, but the published articles look promising. Have you had experience with this laser ? Please leave a comment below.


How about if your redness is related to flushing ?

Eredicane is an OTC non-FDA approved treatment containing Magnesium, Passion Flower, Valerian, Vit B6, Glycine, Glutamine, Primula Officinalis and Taurine. According to their web site, eredicane works thusly ;

Fight Blushing With the Body’s Own Building Blocks

Eredicane’s main ingredient, GABA, is one of the nine essential amino acids found in the brain. GABA inhibits neurons in the cells from firing, thus diminishing the excitatory messages reaching the frontal cortex of the brain.

In essence, GABA lowers the excitatory level of the cell that is about to receive the incoming information, therefore helping to prevent the onset of the sensation that causes blushing.

But does it work ? A long thread over at ESFB, `Has anyone tried “Eredicane??”‘ is inconclusive, showing mixed results.

Cutanix DRL

Unfortunately Cutanix is not currently available. Some members of rosacea-support have found DRL to help their facial redness. It is believed that the FDA has objected to the claims made by the packaging. No information is yet available on if or when DRL will return to the market. I love this product so personally I’m looking forward to it becoming available again. As some background you might like to read the Cutanix Articles on Rosacea News.

[update:] Cutanix DRL is now available from SkinMedica after they bought the product from Cutanix. See SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex launches to replace Cutanix DRL for more information.

Sansrosa / CD07805/47

This option is speculative, but is worth mentioning here in this list. Galderma is in one of the final stages of developing a product that is showing promise as a treatment for the flushing redness of rosacea. The product is informally known as Sansrosa and is also called COL-118 (now CD07805/47) by Galderma. The information currently available suggests that this topical can be used safely for long periods and can reduce the appearance of a red flushed face. I have covered this product extensively, so feel free to look through the sanrosa articles. There is no guarantee that Sansrosa will be approved for general use, but if and when it does get approved, it will offer a treatment option that is not currently available from any other topical.

[update:] CD07805/47 has been approved and has launched as Mirvaso, and is now available in the US and across the EU.


Some recent research has found that the active ingredient in some nasal decongestants, oxymetazoline, when applied topically can relieve the redness associated with rosacea skin. While nasal decongestants are not formulated to be applied topically to rosacea skin, new custom formulations for rosacea sufferers are likely to be available soon.

[update]: Oxymetazoline has been approved as a treatment for the redness of rosacea and is available as Rhofade.

When it isn’t Rosacea

Finally, before launching into some treatment for rosacea, it might also be worth exploring the possibility that your red face isn’t actually rosacea. One good place to explore this further is red face: when flushing isn’t rosacea.

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How have you tackled your red face ? Leave a comment a below and let everyone know your top tips.

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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341 Reader Comments

  1. simone berstein says:

    I used to have rosacea – people at work would say “wow – your face is so red today!” and I HATED IT. I had it on my cheeks and forehead and nose. I tried about 7 different products from Amazon. Some worked some did not. Now, for the last 2 weeks, I have only been using the Made from Earth Rosacea Set (which is their Green Tea Cleanser & Made from Earth Rosehip Serum). This product works. In about 2-3 days, my redness was almost completely gone, and these products did not inflame or sting at all. I think its because I was using steroid medication with a lot fo chemicals in it and my skin was having a bad reaction to them. With the Made from Earth products, no reaction at all, and now two weeks later, I do NOT HAVE A RED FACE ANYMORE.

    I am including the link to where I purchased from Amazon. It is not an affiliate link. I am not making money on this, I really just want to help others who have this horrible rosacea redness that I suffered with for years:

  2. Dennis says:

    one thing i have found that works on redness and itching is to take 1/4 cup aloe Vera jell and mix with 1 table spoon of pure American made msm powder, it has to be pure msm or it won’t
    dissolve, you can put it in the ref and it will keep for a few days , it also feel cool and soothing.

  3. Hi just to say this is an amazing site and has so much info for this horrible condition. I have tried various treatments oral and topical antibiotics which I really don’t want to be taking long term. Have noticed slight thickening of skin on cheeks forehead and nose and hate it. At the moment using invermectin (soolantro) which is working quite well started to have some bumps also. I also use as a daily moisturizer a product from chuckling goats it’s called chuckling goat break out kefir lotion for skin conditions it’s very cooling and does calm the redness, it’s kefir based I love it. Just to say a big thank you for this site and all the info, as GP does not seem to have much knowledge on this condition. Wish we could find a cure, and a cause, been told it’s a autoimmune condition but there’s so much conflicting info out there. Goodl luck everyone

  4. Dawn Lewandowski says:

    I’ve had rosacea for years, but lately it’s been impossible to control. I suffer from widespread neuropathy, which causes my head to get extremely hot without much activity, giving me extreme head sweats. This wreaks so much havoc that I need to douse in cold water to stop it. I think the good I do with medications and washing just gets washed away with sweat and cold water. Does anyone know of a product that’s waterproof?

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