Trying Different Over The Counter Products

Written by on February 14, 2008 in Over The Counter Treatments with 12 Comments

From: janiemmca
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 08:44:30


Just thought I would relate to you my experience with MetroGel. I have had a mild form of Rosacea since my early 20’s and am now 47, mostly flushing & blushing, no pustules or papules; I was using MetroGel twice a day for over 7 years until about 3 months ago.

My cheeks and nose were permanently red the whole time, which I naturally assumed was due to the Rosacea..and it was’nt until I found this board that I ever thought about trying anything else. About 3 months ago I stopped using the MetroGel all together and started trying some of the more natural things talked about on this board.

I have to say that I can’t remember a time when my face was so normal looking. The redness has been reduced by about 80%..And I am alot happier with my appearance. I do think now that it was the MetroGel causing most of the redness…

I have found that the things that work the best for me are:

Low-Dose Aspirin: (taken on an as needed basis, not all the time. But when I feel myself start to flush it stops it short)

Antihistimines ( taken on an as needed basis, not every day )

Nasal Spray (Cromolyn or Nasalcrom, 2 squirts per day; completely controls my nose. I can even drink without lighting up)

Grape Seed Extract (200mg. per day has helped to lessen the broken capillaries on my face.)

Evening Primrose oil & Flax oil ( I pop a couple of these every day also and have noticed a huge improvement in the texture of my skin.  My face used to be very rough feeling and now is really smooth and soft.)

Jojoba Oil (twice a day; applied while my face is wet and then blotted off. I don’t use any soaps or scrubs just plain old water. in fact, I don’t even use a moisturizer as they always seem to upset the balance.)

Ice Water ( I drink lots and lots of ice water, and this has really reduced the number of flares. I used to flare up on a daily basis, but hardly at all anymore.)

I also make a point of letting things cool down, like coffee and meals before eating them. That always causes a flare if things are too hot…  And thats it!!!

Life for me has definitely improved in these past few months…


— In rosacea-support@y…, glasiii@a… wrote:


I have followed the stream for a couple weeks now–and thanks to you
all, have found that this business of Rosacea is a bit more complex
than I thought at first.

I guess I have a pretty simple case of Rosacea–just a red nose that
seems to come and go over the years–sometimes its ok, and then for
months it lights up my face like a beacon.

Since my name is J.P. Morgan, I wondered if my condition was
inherited, but years of genealogical research proved I am no kin to
the famous bulbous nosed robber baron.

My doctor has prescribed Metrogel, which I have been using for about a
month with no apparant results. In fact, it seems to intensify the
redness. Since I am a newcomer to the group, I have the following

Could it be that those who are active on the list have a condition
that does not respond to Metrogel? In other words, is all the
information being passed on this group the result of those who have
tried the “standard” treatment to no avail, and you are busy
discussing alternative or more esoteric treatments? What I would like
to know, is how many people, as a percentage, find relief with the

Are there any clinical trials? If so, what have been the results? Am
I only seeing those on the posts who just do not respond to Metrogel?

You may find my questions naive, but I would appreciate any responses
you may care to offer.


J. P. Morgan

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

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12 Reader Comments

  1. PJ says:

    My husband and sister-in-law didn’t notice any improvement with Metrogel. But they have started using an antibacterial face cleanser, Cetaphil, and that has helped clear up most of the redness.

  2. mary says:

    hi, everyone. on the last day of january of this year, i was layed off after 16 years with a “fortune 500” corporation. within two weeks, the upper part of my cheeks started turning red. i had no idea what it was until i googled the symptoms on the internet. I look like an extra in “terror in the wax museum”. im 56 and no “spring chicken”, mind you, but i am so embarassed to appear in public! because i lost my insurance coverage one month after i lost my job, i hesitated to go to the doctor. my friend, who has a very mild problem with rosacea, gave me a new tube of “metrogel 1%”. i, too, see no improvement at all! my eyelids are swollen today, and itch. i have thought of everything i have touched, rubbed on, washed with, etc. i have switched soaps, sunglasses (made in china, so thought maybe i was allergic to the lead-based paint the manufacturers could have used). I switched my reading glasses, too. i switched moisturizers…you name it. i am so hapy i can share with others. i am going into my 4th week of misery with this. i never had acne as a teenager because my skin is so darn dry. last one to the apple cidar vinegar is a rotten eggs!

  3. mary says:

    does anyone know why my base make up appears to have little holes in it when i try to camophage my rosacea? the outbreak looks much worse when i put base makeup and finish it off with face powder. i am substitute teaching (i am an english teacher, by profession) and dread walking into a classroom with my makeup looking like sandpaper.

  4. lori says:

    I was surfing around looking for an OTC or herbal that would take care of my rosacea and found this site. I just wanted to let you know that I found metrocream to work much better for my pretty mild case. It didn’t dry my skin out.

  5. Patricia Lutz says:

    Metrogel has helped my rosacea, when needed, without problem; and, over the past 10 years that I’ve had the condition, I’ve been able to go for fairly long stretches without having to use anything at all.
    However, when I do get flare-ups, I have to see a doctor again (who may be different than the last because I may have different health insurance) just to get the very same prescription.

    A few years ago, my mother also discovered she has rosacea (her symptoms began after mine did) and was prescribed Finacea, which worked well for her. A while back, I was having a break-out and she gave me some of her Finacea to use. After using it for a couple of days, I found it to be effective as well. I continued to use it only when outbreaks occurred. Then, it ran out.

    Now, I no longer have an active prescription for other Metrogel or Finacea, so have to go back to the doctor to get a prescription for one of them.

    Since, I don’t use the medication daily, only when I have outbreaks, my prescriptions often expire (I’ve been dealing with this off-and-on for 10 years!) before I need the treatment again.

    Why aren’t these medications, which are not drugs of abuse, available over the counter?!

  6. Hi Patricia,

    Sadly the main treatments that actually are proven to work are prescription only. They do have side effects including being dangerous for some people etc. – so I guess the prescription route and having to go to your doctor is a safety guard for all.

    Not that it helps most people, but Finacea is available over the counter in Australia.

    The various natural treatments for rosacea don’t normally have the rigorous testing to prove that they both work and are safe.

    Hopefully in the middle somewhere everyone can find a mixture of natural and prescription treatments to help their rosacea.


  7. Hunter says:

    Metrogel makes my face flaky. I used to apply a very, very light coating of cortisone cream over the Metrogel,
    or a quality lotion of some kind (lubriderm, etc). But, after 20 years of Metrogel – it has little or not effect anymore.

  8. Red Cheeks says:

    I have Rosacea for 3 years now. i was on Metrogel and this product makes my face even more red. the funny thing is I went to my dermotologist and she stated that I should continue using it and that is one of the side affects. she also forced me into buying a face cream called NIA24 for my face which by the way does not work for me at all a waste of $140 bucks. I started back on metrogel. And could not take the after affect. I then went onto to another dermotologist and she told me that I do not have Rosacea..:( come on I do not know who to believe anymore. One tell me I do and the other tells me I dont. I am having flare up when I get upset or am emarrassed about something.
    and the red cheeks are bad when I get this way. 🙁 i have tried off the counter creams and get nowhere. I honestly do not know what to do anymore.

  9. Heather says:

    Ditto to all of the above. My red skin drama just started @ 36 yrs old. Only on the right cheek do I get the angry, itchy, painful “non-pimple” bumps. Doc gave me metrogel, but my insurance is crapy so it was too expensive. I went on an internet hunt for something else and here I am. I also read about horror stories using metrogel soooo can anyone offer me a glimmer of hope, suggestions on OTC, low $, help?!

  10. Trish says:

    I have had a very light case of Rosacea for the past 3 years and like everyone else my Dermatologist prescribed Metrogel. I started using it, but with no affect. The Rosacea is only on my nose- Not sure why but decided to branch out on my own and now this is what I do each morning and night:

    I use Witch Hazel all over my face, morning & night after I was my face with Mary Kay (normal -dry 3 in 1 cleanser), then I put a few drops of Pure Argan Oil on the tips of my fingers and rub in all over my face. Once that has soaked in, I rub just plain “store brand Cortizone cream” all over my nose. I do this sam thing morning and night and I don’t have a red nose any longer! It is wonderful. I feel normal again, plus if I have any type of small break-out (which is rare) or maybe a little red spot on my face,.. I put cortizone cream on it, too and it is normally gone later that day.

    Please try it, as I think the Cortizone cream is what is working. The Argan Oil keeps the rest of my face balanced and moisturized- and you can probably use any gentle cleanser you wish, MK is what I use.

    Good luck! Oh- and Cortizone Cream is CHEAP!

  11. Theresa J. Sheely says:

    Does Finacea have steroids in it?

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