Rosacea is a common inflammatory facial skin condition affecting the adult population. Its papulopustular subtype is mainly treated pharmacologically by topical and oral antibiotics. For severe or antibiotics-recalcitrant disease, daily low-dose isotretinoin has also been reported to be effective. However, no previous study has assessed the efficacy of once-weekly administered isotretinoin for papulopustular rosacea. For this purpose, a retrospective comparative study was conducted. For severe rosacea, 40 mg/week isotretinoin (24 patients) was administered. For mild to moderate rosacea, once-weekly 20 mg/week isotretinoin (28 patients) was compared with 100 mg/day minocycline (24 patients). Treatment courses lasted 4 to 7 months. Forty milligrams per week isotretinoin was highly effective for severe rosacea, achieving complete response (over 90% improvement) in 62.5% of patients and partial response (50%-90% improvement) in additional 29.2% of patients. Twenty milligrams per week isotretinoin and hundred milligrams per day minocycline showed comparable efficacy for mild to moderate rosacea (complete response of 10.7% vs 8.3% and partial response of 28.6% vs 33.3%, respectively). This study demonstrates that that the use of a weekly low-dose isotretinoin is an effective treatment for papulopustular rosacea, including among patients with severe disease.
- treatment efficacy