I have been talking about rosacea on my blog for nearly 10 years and one of the most common questions I get is about prescription treatments. I hadn’t used a prescription rosacea treatment for nearly 16 years so I am very excited to share the results after using my Dermatica treatment for 3 months (I have now updated this post with my 6 month results as well).
In case you’ve not heard of Dermatica, they offer custom-made, prescription skincare treatments and they were the first in the UK to offer an online prescription-strength, evidence-based rosacea treatment tailored to your personal needs. Their goal is to make skincare treatments accessible and affordable for everyone. Shall we get into the details?
This is a paid collaboration with Dermatica.[Originally posted in November 2021, updated in March 2022]
I’m going to explain the whole Dermatica process, share some tips, talk about my results (with before and after pictures) in full below. But first I wanted to make you aware of the special offer Dermatica have made available for you, my lovely readers. There are more details at the bottom of this post, but you can get your first month of Dermatica free, and 15% off your second *and third* months with the code LEX.
Before we get started, I wanted to mention that I think you should only be looking at a service like this once you’ve had an official diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Rosacea can look and act like other skin conditions, so it’s best to have your gut feeling confirmed before you look at specific medication.
WHAT IS DERMATICA?
Dermatica is custom-made prescription skincare that comes through the post every month. They initially launched with a range that covered all sorts of skin concerns (acne, anti-ageing, melasma, pigmentation). But about a year ago they added a rosacea treatment to their range, which is what I’ve been trialling for the past 3 months.
Each month you receive a tube of cream personalised to you and your needs. Over time the Dermatica team can monitor your progress, offer support and expert dermatological advice, as well as alter your prescription – if necessary – based on your results and goals.
WHAT WAS THE DERMATICA PROCESS?
The Dermatica online consultation process is free and is incredibly easy: I filled in an online questionnaire to discover my main skin concerns (in my case, rosacea) and then sent some make-up-free selfies taken in natural light. In combination, these helped the Dermatica dermatology team to analyse my skin (the latter also serves as my own ‘before’ photos so I could keep track of my skin progress). A few days later, my Dermatica prescription arrived (in letterbox-friendly sized packaging!) in a 15ml airless tube.
The box included a leaflet with information on how to apply, FAQs, and information on my personal prescription. Each tube is designed to last 30 days, by which time the next tube will already be with you.
So what happened next? The Dermatica team regularly checked in with me by email, giving me a chance to ask questions or raise concerns. They included links to information on what I should expect from my skin journey based on how long I’d been using the product. There was also a direct link and encouragement to chat to the dermatology team if I did have concerns.
All photos and medical information shared with Dermatica are confidential and GDPR-compliant, so although it’s scary uploading those bare-faced selfies, they are for your dermatologist’s eyes only.
WHAT IS MY PRESCRIPTION?
The Dermatica Rosacea treatment contains three medications that are widely considered to be the gold standard ingredients for treating this condition. I’m going to break down the medications in my prescription and explain what they’re used for:
- Ivermectin (1%): Also known as Soolantra. This is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-parasitic. It targets the Demodex mites that all humans have on their skin, but for some reason cause issues with some people with rosacea.
- Metronidazole (0.75%): An antibiotic and anti-inflammatory that targets papules, pustules, and erythema (redness)
- Niacinamide (4%): This active form of Vitamin B3 treats pimples/pustules, is anti-inflammatory, and helps to strengthen the skin barrier.
- SmartBase technology base cream: This serves as a carrier for the active ingredients above, but also contains ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid to improve the skin barrier and protect the skin from irritants (as well as making it a pleasure to apply).
All Dermatica treatments are vegan as they are synthetic, semi-synthetic, or derived from plant sources.
As with any medication, please follow the instructions and read the accompanying medical advice leaflet. If you are unsure, or nervous, I’d really recommend getting in touch with the Dermatica team as they can offer advice and tips.
My very basic night-time routine is as follows: Wash my face with a gentle cleanser and wait 5-10 minutes. Apply 1-2 pumps of Dermatica to clean skin in a thin layer, avoiding delicate areas like eyes, eyelids, mouth, and nostrils. Wait 15 minutes then follow with a moisturiser, if you feel you need one. In the morning, wash your face as usual, before applying moisturiser and SPF.
There are some common and expected side effects to these ingredients which I would recommend keeping an eye out for, but try not to panic if you experience some redness, flakes, dry skin, or burning.
I found it so helpful that the Dermatica dermatology team are always available to give advice. When I first started using the Dermatica Rosacea treatment, I messaged them with some concerns and they were so friendly and reassuring. I had a small amount of redness and texture on my cheeks and I was recommended to reduce the frequency of application (e.g. apply every other night instead of nightly) and to apply a moisturiser underneath the Dermatica treatment. This helped immediately and meant I could slowly build up my tolerance to the cream over a few weeks. After 2 weeks I started applying every night again, then 1 week later (when I had no issues) I removed the pre-Dermatica moisturier step.
RESULTS OVER 3 MONTHS
The photos above were taken in the middle of August 2021. After 16 years of rosacea maintenance, I would classify my skin as pretty calm, but I had a fair amount of persistent redness, mostly caused by visible capillaries (also known as broken veins/thread veins) and experienced temporary flushing from my known triggers (e.g. stress, alcohol, extremes of temperature).
The photos above were taken at the end of November 2021 and I am absolutely thrilled with the changes. Physically, the overall redness is reduced and my skin texture is so much smoother. My skin looks glowy and healthy, feels smoother, and I’ve noticed when I wear make up that the application is better.
But there are changes beyond what others may notice, and these are the changes that mean more to me. My skin feels more robust, more resistant to flushing. Winter is never a great time for my skin, but the flushing I have experienced has been less severe and goes down more quickly than usual.
I’ve also included a close up picture (below) so that you can see the details of my skin. I still have visible capillaries (these aren’t something that can be erased by using a treatment such as this, so I didn’t expect those to disappear) so my skin will continue to have overall redness. I also still have flare ups related to my triggers but – as I mentioned above – they last a shorter amount of time and aren’t as severe. Rosacea has no cure but there are ways to minimise its impact and (when used alongside trigger management, lifestyle changes etc.) you can learn to control your skin.
Please bear in mind that topicals like these can show early results after as little as 4 weeks, but 8-12 weeks is the most common time frame for visible results. This is why Dermatica recommends a minimum treatment period of 6-8 weeks.
6 MONTH UPDATE
I’ve now been using Dermatica for 6 months and I’m so thrilled with my ongoing results. My prescription has remained the same, but my skin continues to improve.
My skin is smoother, more glowy, and less red overall. But for me the biggest difference has been in the resilience of my skin. Things that would normally trigger a flare up for me don’t have the same impact, in fact I often find myself bracing for a flare up that never comes! I had a really awful cold recently, so bad that I had a bath. I gave up baths long ago in favour of tepid showers to keep my skin happy, but sometimes when you have a cold you just need a steamy bath! I weighed up the consequences in my mind and went for it anyway and – much to my surprise – my skin was fine: it was a little bit pink (as anyone’s would be) but no flare up, no prickling or itching, no lasting redness. I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror in shock!
I’ve included some updated photos below. My original results after 3 months were so good that I don’t think the visible change to now is hugely different, but hopefully you can see the glow, as well as the overall calm appearance and tone.
OFFER FOR YOU
Try your first month of Dermatica (any prescription, not just the rosacea treatment!) for only £2.90 and get 15% off your second AND third month with the code LEX – usually it’s £19.99 a month. This includes access to ongoing, free online consultations with in-team dermatology team who will guide you as your skin journey changes and continues.
If you have any other questions about Dermatica, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add more information to the post.
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