Assessment of Skin Barrier Function in Rosacea Patients with a Novel 1% Metronidazole Gel

September 2005 | Volume 4 | Issue 5 | Original Article | 557 | Copyright © September 2005

Zoe D. Draelos MD

The skin of patients with rosacea is extremely sensitive and hyper-reactive to dietary, environmental, and topical factors. Accordingly, the management of rosacea involves not only choosing appropriate medication and treatment for daily skin care, but also avoiding known trigger factors. Recently, 1% metronidazole, a mainstay of topical rosacea therapy, was reformulated in a gel vehicle that contains hydrosolubilizing agents (HSA) niacinamide, beta cyclodextrin, and a low concentration of propylene glycol. It is designed to solubilize greater concentrations of metronidazole than is possible in water alone while reducing the potential for irritation and barrier disruption. A 2-week study was undertaken by the author to evaluate the effect of the new 1% metronidazole gel on the skin barrier in 25 women with mild to moderate rosacea. Statistically significant improvement in disease severity, erythema, desquamation, and skin irritation was noted by the investigator by the end of week 1, which continued throughout the study. After 2 weeks, subjects noted improvements in skin condition and rosacea. Results of noninvasive assessments showed no disruption of the skin barrier. Furthermore, there was an increasing trend in skin hydration that approached statistical significance.