Some research suggests that rosacea symptoms tend to worsen after age 45. This is when it also may become more challenging to treat.

Aging is one of the most common influencing factors for many diseases, including rosacea.

Although anyone of any age can get rosacea, it most commonly occurs in women over 30. The severity of the skin condition also tends to increase with age.

While this doesn’t guarantee your rosacea will get worse over the years, it is possible. Here’s what to know about your symptoms over time and how to manage them.

Some evidence suggests that rosacea tends to get worse as you get older.

In a 2022 study of 840 women over age 30 with rosacea, researchers found that the clinical features of rosacea became more complex and difficult to treat after age 45.

Women 45 and older with rosacea were more likely to experience:

  • more serious and persistent rashes and redness
  • more severe spider veins

But keep in mind that these researchers have only looked at women with the condition. Even though more women than men get rosacea, it’s unclear how the condition affects men over time. And until more research is done, it’s unclear how it may affect people over time on a broader scale.

But in the past few years, there have been several advancements in rosacea treatments, such as laser-based treatments and topical therapies like ivermectin. As rosacea treatment becomes more sophisticated and effective, managing symptoms may become easier at any age.

Since there’s currently no known cure for rosacea, it may not go away completely. But, with treatment, you may experience a significant reduction or even an extended improvement in symptoms.

Finding an effective management strategy can take some experimentation. Identifying and avoiding triggers, collaborating with your doctor to create a personalized treatment plan, and committing to regular check-ups can help you prevent flare-ups and live more fully and well.

Even though there’s currently no known cure for rosacea, topical treatments can help manage symptoms. These include:

  • Azelaic acid: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), research shows that regular application of azelaic acid can significantly reduce symptoms, with some patients even experiencing complete reduction in symptoms.
  • Ivermectin: Research suggests that ivermectin can greatly lower acne rosacea lesions. According to a 2019 study, ivermectin might be more effective than both azelaic acid and metronidazole in clearing lesions.
  • Metronidazole: This treatment can reduce redness, inflammation, and lesions associated with rosacea acne, as per AAD.
  • Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur: You may find these ingredients in both over-the-counter and prescription cleansers, gels, and creams formulated for acne. With regular use, you may experience a significant reduction in acne-like rosacea symptoms.

Oral treatments include:

  • Antibiotics: Doctors commonly prescribe antibiotics like tetracycline to lower rosacea flare-ups and redness. They may also prescribe low doses of doxycycline as an alternative to full-strength antibiotics due to its fewer side effects. But keep in mind that antibiotics should not be used long term.
  • Isotretinoin: Also known as Accutane, isotretinoin is approved to treat severe acne, including acne from rosacea. But, due to its severe side effects, it’s generally only used in extreme cases.

Laser therapy is another treatment for addressing redness and pustules. According to AAD, laser therapy can significantly reduce symptoms.

Natural treatments for rosacea can also help, and they may include:

Avoiding common rosacea triggers may also help. They may include consuming too much alcohol (if applicable) or caffeine or wearing products with artificial fragrances. Talk with a dermatologist or keep a journal to track your symptoms to help identify your triggers.

Rosacea tends to occur after age 30, and research suggests that symptoms could worsen with age. Although there’s no cure for rosacea yet, there are ways to manage the condition. Topical treatments like ivermectin and alternative treatments like laser therapy are known to significantly reduce symptoms.

Identifying and avoiding triggers is another way to lower symptoms. Keep in mind that as rosacea treatments continue to advance, it’s possible that your symptoms may become more manageable in the future.