Finacea is a prescription-only gel used to treat rosacea: a common skin condition that causes redness, flushing, swelling and a bumpy rash to appear on the sufferer’s face.
Finacea can also be used to treat milder forms of acne on the facial area, particularly if stronger topical treatments are not working well for you.
Although Rosacea affects 1 in 10 people, its exact cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. There are, however, medications like Finacea that will successfully treat the symptoms and appearance of rosacea.
If you’re affected by rosacea or acne and you’d like to know more about how to treat it using Finacea, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll answer any questions you have about Finacea on here so that you know what to expect if you decide to use this treatment. Read on to find out more.
What is Finacea gel?
In adults, Finacea cream can be used to treat rosacea, a bumpy rash that occurs on the face. Little is known about rosacea, even though it affects 1 in 10 people. It is thought to occur when peptides in the skin become inflamed. People with rosacea will go through periods of flare-up and remission. Flare-ups can occur due to triggers such as stress, caffeine, alcohol, physical exertion and certain types of light and weather. If a flare-up is particularly bad, a treatment such as Finacea may be prescribed.
Finacea gel is a medication made by Bayer and is used to treat the symptoms of acne rosacea. It should be applied directly to the affected skin on the face twice each day. In general, the benefits of this medication are felt after a month of use. Finacea gel is manufactured by Bayer in the UK and is not available over the counter without a prescription.
More details can be found on our about Finacea page.
How does Finacea work for rosacea?
Finacea contains the active ingredient azelaic acid. Azelaic acid works by blocking the body’s natural production and growth of keratin surface skin cells — which are responsible for clogging up pores.
By tackling the production and growth of these surface skin cells, Finacea gets to the root of the problem and helps to unblock pores and sebaceous glands (small glands in the skin which release sebum, an oily matter meant to lubricate your skin). This means your pores and sebaceous glands can get rid of excess sebum clogging your skin and creating problems.
As a result, papules, pustules and spots are much less likely to occur on the face. This also means that the swelling and redness of the skin normally associated with rosacea decreases too.
The azelaic acid in Finacea gel also works by killing off the bacteria on the skin that is associated with acne and rosacea. This bacteria — propionibacterium — feeds off your body’s sebum and produces fatty acids and waste products. These lead to irritation of the sebaceous glands, which inflames them (causing the redness and swelling) and creates spots and bumpy rashes on the face.
How long does it take for Finacea to work?
If used correctly, Finacea can reduce the visible effects of rosacea over the course of a few months. Improvements in rosacea or acne can usually be seen within the first month of using the gel.
However, it’s important to mention that you need to be consistent with your use of Finacea: improvements will only occur if you are regularly applying the gel to the area, twice a day (more on the application and use of Finacea below).
Any breaks in your use of Finacea will impede the success rate of the gel. This is due to azelaic acid in the gel no longer unclogging the pores and glands on your face, or killing the bacteria on the skin.
Rosacea is a condition that normally affects the face. Common symptoms include:
- Blood vessels showing through the skin
- Thickening of the skin
- Bloodshot eyes
- Eye dryness
- Red bumps and spots
- Cystic acne
The condition is fairly common in the UK, with up to 10% of people suffering from the condition. Despite its high rate of incidence, medical knowledge of rosacea and its causes are fairly limited. Some medical professionals believe that the activity of peptides, small molecules in the skin, cause the reaction. It is thought that when stimulated by certain factors, peptides interact with the immune cells in the skin, triggering an inflammatory reaction.
Another possible cause is microscopic mites, known as Demodex folliculorum, which usually live harmlessly on the skin. If their population grows for one reason or another, this could create rosacea-like symptoms. Irregular blood vessel function is also associated with the condition.
Certain rosacea sufferers report that various triggers can induce a flare-up of the condition.
The most common ones include:
- Physical exertion
- Prolonged or intense exposure to UV light
- Hot or cold weather conditions
- It is possible that some avoidance strategies may help to limit symptoms, but generally, only a prescription will really help to clear up the condition.
Does Finacea work for everyone?
Finacea has a relatively high success rate when it comes to treating rosacea and acne, and many users report an improvement in their condition thanks to Finacea. For more feedback from users, see our Finacea customer reviews section below.
However, Finacea doesn’t work for everyone. Some people may find that Finacea makes no difference to their rosacea or acne and will need a stronger medication — alternative treatments, like Soolantra Cream, can be found here. A small percentage of users may also find that Finacea has an adverse effect and causes skin irritation and flare-ups. For more information on possible side effects, head over to our Finacea side effects page.
If you have been using the gel regularly for four to eight weeks without seeing any improvement to your condition or you believe your condition to be getting worse, you should stop using the gel and seek medical advice.
Additionally, you should avoid using Finacea if you are under 12, pregnant or breastfeeding. You should speak to a doctor or pharmacist if you fall into any of these categories and are planning on using Finacea.
Do you need to use Finacea with moisturiser?
You do not need to use a moisturiser with Finacea, but if you are prone to very dry skin, you may want to moisturise. Avoid heavily perfumed moisturisers, however, and stick to moisturisers for sensitive skins. You can apply moisturiser before or after Finacea — it’s up to you.
Does Finacea have steroids in?
No, Finacea does not contain steroids. For the full list of active and inactive ingredients in Finacea gel, check this list.
What else does Finacea help with?
Finacea is good for treating a number of skin problems associated with rosacea and acne. Below we’ve covered what Finacea can and cannot help with.
Does Finacea reduce redness?
Finacea does help to reduce the redness associated with rosacea. You should start to see this redness settling down within the first four weeks of using the topical treatment.
Does Finacea help for hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a medical term used to describe darker patches of skin resulting from excess melanin production, which can be caused by acne scars. If applied to this area, Finacea can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Does Finacea get rid of blackheads?
The active ingredient in Finacea — azelaic acid — works to unblock pores and sebaceous glands to stop oily build-ups, therefore reducing the formation of spots such as blackheads.
Does Finacea help with melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition which causes brown or greyish-brown pigmentation on the skin, resulting in patches, usually on the face. The azelaic acid in Finacea can help to lighten this pigmentation and reduce the appearance of melasma after use.
Does Finacea help with wrinkles?
Although not a proven effect of the gel, Finacea may help to reduce wrinkles associated with rosacea.
Does Finacea help with acne scars?
Finacea can help to fade light surface acne scars and minimise their appearance over time.
Finacea gel vs. other rosacea creams
Finacea vs. Rozex gel
What are the differences between Finacea and Rozex rosacea gel? The most notable difference is that Finacea contains azelaic acid, whereas Rozex gel contains the antibiotic Metronidazole. Both are prescription-only topical treatments available to buy online from The Independent Pharmacy. Find out more about Rozex in our guide: What is Rozex?.
Finacea vs. Mirvaso and Soolantra
Used to treat:
Rosacea & acne
How it works
Prevents keratin cells from blocking pores & kills bacteria on the skin
Decreases the flow of blood through the vessels (reduces redness)
Anti-inflammatory & anti-parasitic
Finacea & Skinoren
Finacea and Skinoren cream contain the same active ingredient, but at different strengths. Skinoren cream is stronger and used to treat mild, hormonal, and cystic acne, as well as acne scars, and dark spots.
Finacea is slightly milder and is therefore licensed to treat rosacea and milder acne.
Click here for customer reviews of Skinoren.
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