Changes in Rosacea Comorbidities and Treatment Utilization Over Time

November 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1402 | Copyright © November 2010

Brad A. Yentzer MD and Alan B. Fleischer Jr. MD

Background: Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that requires lifelong treatment. Given the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many physicians are re-evaluating their use of antibiotics for long-term treatment of rosacea. Purpose: To examine trends in the treatment of rosacea and the comorbidities associated with this skin condition. Methods: From 2002–2006, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey queried drug mentions at rosacea visits and coexisting diagnoses. Prescribing patterns of dermatologists were compared to other physicians’ patterns. Results: Ten million physician visits had the diagnosis of rosacea; 74 percent were associated with co-morbidities. Metronidazole, tetracyclines, azelaic acid and sodium sulfacetamide were the top medications mentioned at rosacea visits. Prescriptions increased for azelaic acid and decreased for sodium sulfacetamide. Dermatologists decreased their prescribing of systemic medications. Conclusion: Dermatologists are reducing their use of systemic antibiotics for rosacea and turning to therapies, such as azelaic acid, that do not have potential to induce bacterial resistance.