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How Effective Is Minocycline for Rosacea?

By Karize Uy
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The treatment of minocycline for rosacea has been proven to be very effective, and the medication is, in fact, one of the most recommended medications for mild to severe rosacea. Minocycline prevents bacteria from multiplying and spreading, thus helping decrease the redness of the affected area, usually on the face. Patients should always be reminded that rosacea is a skin condition that can never be totally cured, but can be treated and managed through proper medication and a healthy lifestyle. Using minocycline for rosacea may be effective, but the results of the medication may differ, depending on the patient and the severity of the condition.

As a medication, minocycline is a form of tetracycline, which is a group of antibiotic medicine that combats bacteria. Compared to other forms of tetracycline, minocycline can fight off more species of bacteria and has been found to improve a condition at a faster rate than other tetracyclines. This is why minocycline is used for bacteria-caused conditions like cholera, amebiasis, syphilis, and even acne. The primary cause of rosacea, however, is not bacterial, but the affected skin can become redder, inflamed, and can form pustules when it comes in contact with bacteria, so minocycline is used to manage the condition of the skin.

Another advantage of taking minocycline is that the bacteria do not easily develop a resistance against it, compared to other tetracyclines. This characteristic is very important, given that rosacea is a life-long condition and medication should be taken long-term. It also has a longer “half-life,” which means it takes about 16 hours for the body to flush the minocycline out. This also means that the antibiotic works harder and longer within the system until it is flushed out and another dose of minocycline is taken the next day.

Taking minocycline for rosacea may have several advantages, but it also has some disadvantages, one of which is photosensitivity, causing the skin to be more sensitive to the sunlight. A patient may have an increased risk of having sunburn, or sun rashes, so protection such as sunblock and an umbrella is a must. The skin may also experience some hyperpigmentation, or some grayish or bluish spots, when minocycline is used for an extended period. This condition, however, can be prevented by taking vitamin C daily. Minocycline is available in an oral form, taken with or without food, or in a topical form that can be applied directly on the affected skin.

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Discussion Comments
By anon990695 — On May 05, 2015

I have been taking the oral minocycline for a week and my face is noticeably clearer. The side effects haven't been great, but it was meant to be a short course (2 months) to see if it worked.

I plan on having the remaining redness lasered off and then hope to maintain with topical cream and maybe use the antibiotics when I have flare-ups in the winter.

The dry/cold seems to bother me more than the hot does.

By turquoise — On Feb 11, 2013

From my experience, minocycline is effective for rosacea induced acne, but not so much for the flushing. I personally experienced more redness when I was on minocycline but it cleared up my pimples perfectly.

I guess it all depends on the individual. It sounds like minocycline is more effective ob some people than others. It's worth a try though.

By stoneMason — On Feb 10, 2013

@literally45-- I've never used the topical cream so I can't compare the two, but tablet minocycline is very effective. It hasn't cured my rosacea, and like the article said, nothing can. But the flushing has definitely decreased since I've started taking minocycline. I still flare when I'm exposed to heat, so I try to keep myself as cool as possible. But before this, I used to flare all the time, so it is definitely an improvement for me.

I should probably mention however that about the same time I started taking minocycline, I also made some diet changes and started eating more healthy. So that might have been a factor in my improvement as well.

By literally45 — On Feb 09, 2013

Is tablet minocycline more effective than topical or vice versa?

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