Rosasol: Metronidazole with Sunscreen for Canadians

Rosasol is a little known combination sunscreen and metronidzaole formulation. It is only available on prescription in Canada.

According to the Stiefel Laboratories web site, “Regulations in Canada prohibit pharmaceutical manufacturers from providing prescription-product-related information directly to consumers“. This may explain why little information about Rosasol is available on the internet.

Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial of Metronidazole 1% Cream with Sunscreen SPF 15 in Treatment of Rosacea, J.K.L. Tan, C. Girard, A. Krol, H.E. Murray, K.A. Papp, Y. Poulin, D.A. Chin, D. Jeandupeux, Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: Incorporating Medical and Surgical Dermatology, Issue: Volume 6, Number 6, December 2002, Pages: 529 – 534.

Background: Rosacea is a photoaggravated dermatosis responsive to treatment with topical and oral antibiotics. A formulation combining metronidazole 1% cream with sunscreen SPF 15 was developed for the treatment of rosacea.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the safety and efficacy of a formulation combining metronidazole 1% cream with sunscreen SPF 15 in the treatment of moderate to severe rosacea.

Methods: One hundred and twenty patients with moderate to severe rosacea were enrolled for a randomized, placebo-controlled (vehicle containing sunscreen with SPF 15), double-blind study. Study cream was applied twice daily to the entire face over a 12-week period.

Results: Treatment with metronidazole 1% cream with sunscreen SPF 15 resulted in significant improvement (p <0.05) in inflammatory lesion count, erythema and telangiectasiae scores, and investigator and patient global assessment scores compared with baseline and placebo. Adverse reactions related to study medication were typically mild, occurred at the site of application, and were reversible. There was no difference between the safety profiles of metronidazole 1% cream with sunscreen SPF 15 and placebo.

Conclusions: The combined topical formulation of metronidazole 1% cream with sunscreen SPF 15 was an effective, well-tolerated topical agent for the treatment of moderate to severe rosacea.

Also from JK Tan is a 2001 Letter:

Skin Therapy Letters. 2001 May;6(8):1-2, A new formulation containing sunscreen (SPF 15) and 1% metronidazole (ROSASOL Cream) in the treatment of rosacea. Tan JK, Acne Research and Treatment Center, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

ROSASOL Cream is a novel topical formulation of 1% metronidazole in a vehicle containing sunscreens (SPF 15). This product has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory lesions, erythema, and telangiectasiae associated with rosacea.

Does it Work for You?

Have you tried Rosaso? Would you recommend it for people who want to try Metrogle and a sunscreen at the same time.

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About the Author

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

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22 Reader Comments

  1. Krystal says:

    I use this cream and I must say that it works well, but at first it dried my face out. I would recommend it to someone with this disease.

  2. Julie says:

    If you think you have acne but nothing seems to work, ask your doctor about rosacea. I have suffered with skin problems for years but in my mid twenties the “acne” seemed to change. My pores were getting bigger and I had annoying under the skin ‘bumps’. Sometimes they were red and inflamed and sometimes not…Even without squeezing, they seemed to get bigger and dry out until I had scabs. Within a few days I noticed the difference after using this cream. I no longer use an assortment of cleansers and creams. I exfoliate once or twice a week, use a mild saop (Dove) saily, and use this cream day and night. I don’t even use moisturizer anymore. My skin is soft, pores reduced and aside from an occational spot, it looks lovely. It has changed my life and I have only been using it for a month. I would highly reccomend this product.

  3. mike says:

    i went to my dermatologist today ..and he looked at my face and said that i think you have skin damage from years of sun ..then he said try this it is the rosasol cream .I have rednes on my cheeks and thick looking red skin on my neck both sides with little to large pimple looking bumps .Like i say i just got it today and i hope to god that it works well ….

  4. miroslava says:

    I teach students with special needs.i would like to know where and why rosacia comes from.

  5. David Pascoe says:

    Hello Miroslava,

    That is the million dollar question ! no one knows for sure why some people will develop rosacea. There are some theories to do with genetics, flushing, bacteraa and lots more, but sadly no-one has worked out a convincing reason.


  6. MELISSA says:


  7. Taylor says:

    I have redness on my cheeks and i started to use the rosasol cream and it seems to be doing alright, i have only used it like 5 times at night. i hope it does something because it is annoying to have the redness. i want to know what kind of cleanser do i use when i am using rosasol? or do i use one at all? and when should i use it, right before i apply the cream? or when i get up in the morning?

  8. Anna says:

    I have been on Rosasol for just one week and have gone from a beet-red nose, rosy-coloured acne cheeks, to just a bit of colour and a few coloured spots. I treat my face both morning and night. My routine is washing my hands; apply Cetaphil (a gentle cleanser), wash my hands; leave Cetaphil on for 3 minutes; rinse it off with tepid water, using only my hands; blot dry with a clean cloth (do not rub). I then apply the Rosasol. I again wash my hands. If I am going out, I sometimes apply a little foundation to cover any redness I may have. Hope this works for anyone reading this and willing to try it.

  9. deepa says:

    Thank you Anna, that’s encouraging. Starting today on Rosasol (daytime) and Noritate (night). Hopefully I get good results like you, I’ll try your routine too.

  10. Mir says:

    I had flesh-colored bumps and some red spots that weren’t pimples on my cheeks, chin and bridge of my nose. I had them for maybe 5 years (I’m 30) and they weren’t getting better. I went to a dermatologist I found online and she said I had mild rosacea, then recommended IPL and microdermabrasion – I went online to learn more about them and found out for my bumpy skin, these aren’t the best solutions. She was just trying to get me to spend lots of money. So instead I went to my family doctor and she prescribed Rosasol:

    The first week I developed a few more red bumps on my nose which was weird and a tiny spot of bruising, but I kept using it… then the second week everything started to clear up and my skin is back to normal – no bumps and redness anymore!


  11. steves says:

    I just was at my doctors showing him how my skin in some small areas flakes or sheds quickly and is redish underneath…he said it was rosacea and prescribed me a tube of rosasol creme…??..I thought it was egzima..not the correct spelling..I get spots that flair up from time to time and my dermitologist said it was dermititis which is inflamation of the skin….I don’t want to use this if my old school doc misdiagnosed me…my redness has gone after a few days and skin is normal in the area he looked at…anyone?

  12. Tyler C. says:

    Rosacea has some subtypes and some of these could involve flaking and shedding quick skin or may not, I’m not sure. I have been diagnosed with rosacea and I don’t have flaking and shedding quick skin symptoms nor do I have itching skin (this sounds like a potentially itchy condition to me). I just have assymetrical redness on both cheeks (left cheek twice as red as the right cheek both in area and comparing either’s darkest ‘bruise’). I also have papules (small red bumps) I don’t think I have any pustules (small bumps filled with pus, probably cosmetically worse than papules). The redness is kind of strange in that it’s dotted red but at a distance or glance it looks like just general redness and some bumpy uneveness probably because of the papules. The redish underneath is a primary symptom of rosacea but this still doesn’t mean you actually have rosacea. Rosacea is also an inflammation of the skin (redness = inflammation in a lot of ways). Rosacea comes and goes for me, this is basically my second ‘break out’ and it’s been worse than the first one which I had 8 months ago but all along I’ve had a red bump here, a red bump there. I will be trying Rosusol in a day or two and will see if this works for me. Summer is just starting up and I will be wearing sunscreen daily, I’ve even read a few articles saying sunscreen can ‘heal’ rosacea so not always used just for the sunblocking aspects of it. If you have rosacea you’ll probably have at least a few bumps on your cheek even with the best treatment but hopefully that doesn’t mean you have to live with 100 bumps because that’s just embarassing.

  13. Brian says:

    My pharmacist called today to say my prescription to Rosasol Creme won’t be available until May 2013…and this is only mid January! How can this be? Is the maker, Stieffel Canada Inc. going out of business? There doesn’t seem to be an another maker of a similar drug. Shoppers told me to inform my doctor.

  14. Brian says:

    Heard from another pharmacist today who said the company making Rososol hasn’t been making money on it and won’t be making it any more.

  15. Denise Rowe says:

    I have been using this cream for many, many years. However the last time that I went to the pharmacy to have it refilled, I was informed that they no longer carry this product and cannot order it. They recommended metrocream, it did not work and actually made my condition worst. Is there anywhere that I can order this cream on line?

  16. carole prestidge says:

    I have used this medication for many years with great success. Even though I have a renewal prescription the local pharmacies ( incl Shoppers Drug Mart) cannot source a supply. Have you creased manufacture – if not could you please advise Shoppers in Peterborough, Ontario ( tel-705 748 6141) where it can be found.

  17. carole prestidge says:

    Our local pharmacy (shoppers Drug Mart-tel-705 748 6141) is unable to source your product. Could you please advise them or me where it is available.

    Rosasol cream 1%


  18. Morgan Evans says:

    I have been using ROSASOL for six years now.

    For me it has proven very successful.

    I don’t know if the company who makes this product (Stieffel Canada Ltd.) is going out of business or if they are making money on this produce. All I know is that it is a great product and for me it is effective for my current skin condition.

    Like some of the other comments I have read, in my town, all of the Drug Stores tell me the product is on back order.

    That answer is not good enough. Lets get this excellent product back on the market.

  19. Emily says:

    I am desperately looking for rosasol cream. My pharmacy tells me to wait until 2014.

  20. carole prestidge says:

    Noritate was prescribed in place of Rosasol but does not contain a sunscreen

  21. Emily says:

    To me it was suggested to try metrogel 1% to substitute for rosasol.

  22. Joanie says:

    I, too, have been out of Rosasol for quite a while now–over a year–after using it for at least 10 years, completely successfully. First, my pharmacy said it was back-ordered. Recently I got a call saying it was completely out of production. 🙁 It worked great for my mild-to-moderate Rosacea. Besides controlling the redness, it also helped control my hormonal acne. Being without it, the redness of the rosacea seemed to be spreading across my cheeks.

    My facial care routine HAD been: Morning: (1) Wash with Clean ‘n’ Clear acne cleanser (2% salicylic acid). (2) Apply thin layer of Rosasol Cream to face and let it soak in. (3) Apply translucent face powder (Cover Girl loose powder worked for me) over the Rosasol–my dermatologist had told me it was fine to use it all over my face, not just the red areas, as a make-up base, especially since it had sunscreen built in). At night: (1) I just washed my face with warm water and a face cloth–no cleanser was needed to get the make-up and Rosasol off. Clean, breathing skin for night-time. 🙂 And my dermatologist said that a gentle face cloth was all the exfoliation I should do with such sensitive skin.

    Now that I can’t get Rosasol any longer, I’ve tried MetroGel and Noritate. Neither works under make-up, and I still have to apply a sunscreen, too. When I went to fill a prescription for MetroGel recently, I was shocked to learn that it was going to cost me just under $100 for a 60gm tube, far more than Rosasol had ever cost. Fortunately, I still had some refills of Noritate on file–much less expensive, and it is 1% Metronidazole, compared to .75% in Rosasol. Now I use the Noritate at bedtime, so I can use Clean ‘n; Clear Acne Cleanser, and then sunscreen in the morning, under my make-up. Seems to be working OK, but I’d sure rather have the Rosasol again!

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