Rosac Cream vs. Metrocream

Rosac is a topical preparation that combines 2 sunscreens with sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur. Other Sulfacetmide preparations include Plexion, Rosanil and Rosula. Rosac contains avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and octinoxate (also known as Octyl methoxycinnamate) as chemical sunscreens.

This study is saying that rosac cream was better at reducing papules and pustules and redness as well. Rosac was also slightly more likely to cause a bad reaction compared to metrocream.

Combination Sodium Sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfur 5% Cream With Sunscreens Versus Metronidazole 0.75% Cream for Rosacea, Torok HM, Webster G, Dunlap FE, Egan N, Jarratt M, Stewart D., Cutis, 2005; Volume 75, Issue 6, Pages 357-363.

Topical metronidazole and combination sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur commonly are used to treat rosacea. Recently, the relative efficacy and safety of sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfur 5% cream with sunscreens (Rosac © Cream) (n=75) and metronidazole 0.75% cream (Metrocream © (n=77) were compared in an investigator-blinded, randomized, parallel-group study at 6 sites.

After 12 weeks of treatment with sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfur 5% cream with sunscreens, there was a significantly greater percentage reduction (80%) in inflammatory lesions compared with metronidazole 0.75% cream (72%)(P=.04), as well as a significantly greater percentage of subjects with improved erythema (69% vs 45%, respectively; P=.0007).

In addition, the sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfur 5% cream with sunscreens group had a significantly greater proportion of subjects with success in global improvement at week 12 compared with the metronidazole 0.75% cream group (79% vs 59%, respectively; P=.01). There was no significant difference between treatment groups in the percentage of subjects with improvement in investigator global severity.

Overall tolerance was good or excellent in 85% of subjects in the sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfur 5% cream with sunscreens group and in 97% of subjects in the metronidazole 0.75% cream group. Seven subjects had poor tolerance to the sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulfur 5% cream with sunscreens, possibly caused by a sulfa drug allergy.

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

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16 Reader Comments

  1. gail pascucci says:

    is there a way to take the odor out of the sulpha drug? I don’t think it’s my imagination that the roac cream even maks my pillow and clothes smell sulphury-if there is such a word. thanks

  2. I haven’t used rosac, but I have noticed a sulphur smell on other topicals. My wife even used to comment that I smelled a bit strange at night. Unfortunately all I could come up with was to use less and sleep with a towel over my pillow.


  3. penney says:

    This stuff is awful. It stinks and I was allergic to it. My doctor didn’t check my medical allergies and I am allergic to sulfa drugs. My face was burning and itching and tight. I’m going back to Metrocream, no problems with that one… plus it doesn’t stink!

  4. nat levy says:

    How can i order sodium sulfacetamide sulfer 5% 10%

  5. nat levy says:

    Incrediable Results from sodium sulfacetamide 5% 10%

  6. james trudell says:

    I am being prescribed rosac. Does it really stink? The lotion without the sunsreen does’nt smell so it must be the added sunscreen that makes it smell. Please comment

  7. shelli says:

    I was on metrogel several years ago, and when it was finally time to come off my dr. warned me that my symptoms will get very severe for a few weeks (they did). Now a different dr. prescribed prascion ra (generic for rosac). Will it do the same thing when it is time to come off of it?? I don’t want to start if so… Please let me know, I am ready to start it now. Thanks!

  8. Mary says:

    I’ve been using rosac cream for about 8 years & found the results to be amazing. Prior to this, I had been using metrogel, which made my skin peel & did nothing to alleviate the pustules, nor keep them from developing.

    I’ve now been told that rosac has been discontinued. Stiefel labs used to make it, but they sold it to a place called Aqua. I just spoke to someone there & they are no longer making it.

    So, what do I do now?

  9. Mary,

    Is trying Plexion, Rosanil or Rosula an option for you ? Perhaps combined with a gentle zinc oxide sunscreen you might be able to replace Rosac.

    Also, it seems from shelli above that Prascion RA Cream is a generic form of Rosac. Perhaps that might be available still as that is made by another company Prasco Labs ?


  10. Hazell says:


    I have been on the metro gel and did not work also it peeled.then antibotics which worked better with my pustules I also am on dixerit for flushing. I am going of antibitics and cutting them down slowly form 4 a day to 1 now then been given Rozex cream 0.75.
    Have been reading the instruction leaflet and the possible side effects scary oh how I hate this skin disorder I have tried all sorts and nothing works except the antibiotics but to long on them has other disavantages.
    Pleasecan someone let me know if thay have had any success with Rozex cream before I try it on my skin.

  11. Mary says:


    Thank you so much. I just checked my insurance coverage & they do have prascion ra listed. I’m calling my Dr tomorrow for a prescription & will let you all know how it works out.

  12. Lisa says:

    I am using Rosac Cream and I think that it makes my skin feel so good. I have used Metrogel in the past and it did help my Rosacea, but I think that this Rosac cream seems to be working better. I wish that I could buy something over the counter that was just as effective, since a prescript for this cream is very costly and my insurance does not cover it. Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks

  13. Hazell says:

    David I have used the rozex cream now for a number of weeks it felt good on my skin but has not helped me with my papules or spots which got worse after stopping antibiotics.
    My skin has gotten redder so went back to doctor who put me back on erthryromicin antibiotics which seems to calm down my skin controlling my about of paps and pustules so have stopped the rozex cream.

    Has anyone used the sunsense suncreen with tint 50 plus I see it has no perfume or lanolin which is good for me as I am allergic to these ingredients. However there might be other ingredients not so good for rosacea skin in the sunsense can anyone comment on sunsense. I have a sunsense lip balm which has protection for lips which I havnt tried yet for dry lips.


  14. Elaine says:

    I loved rosac cream but can’t get it anymore. Dr. prescribed Prascion but it burns my skin. Is there a good non-burning rosacea cream with sunscreen to replace Rosac? I’m desperate. I can’t stand the burning skin I get with Prascion and it seems to make my face more red. Thanks!

  15. Vicki Murphy says:

    I have been using Prasion Cream for several years & find it works very well on me. I was just informed by my pharmacy that it is off the market and they couldn’t find anything to replace it. I can also not get Rosac Cream anymore. Any suggestions?

  16. Mary says:

    I had the same thing happen to me. Seems like every time you find something that works well, it gets discontinued. My dermatologist knew nothing, but the pharmacists at Aetna & CVS found a substitute, but it does not contain sunscreen, so you have to be sure to apply some after you use the prescription. The mfg. is Perriigo & the cream is called Sodium Sulfacetamide (10%) and Sulfer (5%) Suspension. Comes in a 30 g tube & is prescription only.

    Hope this helps. Anyone else have a different substitute, especially one with sunscreen, please share the info. Looks like we have to watch out for ourselves since some of the Drs. seem clueless!

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