Developed and marketed by the world-famous multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer, Finacea is a gel treatment used to relieve symptoms of acne rosacea. Usually, it is applied to the affected part of the face twice per day. It takes roughly 4 weeks before the results of the treatment become apparent. Within the UK, Finacea is marketed by Intendis and one can buy it only with a prescription.

What’s on this page?

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a very persistent and often lifelong skin condition that is marked by a succession of periods of activity and inactivity, with the former usually being brought on by various stimuli and triggers. Usually, the symptoms remain localised to the face area and they include changes such as thickening of the skin, appearance of blood vessels through the skin, redness or flushing, appearance of small raised spots (papules) and in a limited number of cases, pustules or pus-filled lumps.

Rosacea is a surprisingly common condition. According to NHS, it affects around 10% of population of the United Kingdom. However, despite this, the medical and scientific communities have yet to provide a definite answer to the question of the core reasons behind this condition. The most credible theory so far points the finger to dilated blood vessels, stating that they play a crucial role in the onset of this condition. In addition, some scientists claim that prolonged exposure to UV radiation is the factor that causes blood vessels dilation at the first place.

However, other experts disagree, putting forward alternative theories. One of them pins the blame to mites of the genus demodex folliculorum that commonly live on the skin and are considered to be harmless. However, once they become overpopulated, the bacteria that live around them can also start reproducing rapidly, causing the characteristic skin reaction.

Another alternative hypothesis points out to the possible role of peptides, molecules that naturally exist within the skin, but which can enter into the period of increased activity by certain stimuli, such as alcohol consumption, spicy food and even strong emotions. Once active, these molecules can contribute to the over-activity of the immune system which in turn releases different naturally produced chemicals that are responsible for the usual rosacea symptoms.

What are common rosacea triggers and how to avoid them?

Despite a persistent lack of knowledge of the exact causes of rosacea, years of research have managed to identify a number of common triggers that lead to a flare-up of the condition. These include:

  • Stress or intense emotion
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products
  • Intense physical activity
  • Prolonged exposure to UV light
  • Extreme weather conditions (either heat or cold)

Finacea in the treatment of rosacea

Finacea is one rosacea treatment that has proven to be effective in mitigating the symptoms of this condition. Based on azelaic acid as an active ingredient, this gel produces the desired results after roughly 4 to 8 weeks of use. Without detailed understanding of rosacea’s root causes, it is not yet possible to precisely describe Finacea’s mechanism of action. However, the medical community is strongly inclined to believe that the reason of its success lies at the reduction of levels of acne-inducing bacteria on the skin. The treatment accomplishes this by interfering with the common growth process of these microorganisms. In addition to this, Finacea also has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce swelling and redness. In this way, Finacea is similar to other rosacea treatments like Rozex, Efracea or Metrogel.

How to use Finacea?

Finacea is very easy to use. All the relevant information regarding this will be provided by your doctor or pharmacist and you can also consult the official patient information leaflet that is issued with every pack of the medicine. By precisely following these instructions, you will minimize the chances of getting affected by side effects, while simultaneously optimizing the results of the treatment.

Some most general guidelines you should keep in mind include:

  • The usual dose is two applications per day for the duration specified by the doctor
  • Clear the skin prior to applying Finacea
  • Apply the gel in a thin layer across the affected region
  • Carefully rub it in
  • As a rule of thumb, 2.5cm of squeezed line of gel (around 0.5g) is enough for the whole face
  • Use gel only where irritation occurs
  • If there is no improvement after two months of use, contact your doctor and ask for advice
  • Try not to exceed the prescribed amount
  • Never double the amount used to make up for a missed dose – if you forget to apply gel, just skip that one dose and continue as usual

Are there any side effects of Finacea?

As with all prescription medicines, Finacea also comes with certain possible side effects. Some of the users might even experience an allergic reaction which is relatively dangerous and will require immediate medical advice. If you notice symptoms resembling those of an allergic reaction, notify the doctor or the nearest hospital right away.

Other side effects include:

Frequency of occurrence Side effects
Very common (1 in 10 users or more) Mild burning, pain or itchy feelings on the application site
Common (1 in 10 users or less) Rash, feelings of tingling or numbness, dryness of the skin
Uncommon (1 in 100 users or less) Contact dermatitis, acne, abnormal redness of the skin or colour changes
Rare (1 in 1.000 users or less) Hypersensitivity, worsening of asthma symptoms

Who can safely use Finacea?

While Finacea is a rather safe medicine, there are some instances when it should not be used. Although these cases are rare, it is important to learn about them so you can provide the doctor with all the relevant information during consultations for obtaining a prescription. Certain medicines might interact with Finacea and the same goes for some medical conditions. This is why it’s important to disclose any relevant information regarding this to your doctor.