Rosacea is a common, chronic, cutaneous disorder presenting with recurrent episodes of facial flushing, erythema, papules, pustules and telangiectasias. It is a multifactorial disease and its various clinical presentations probably represent the consequence of combined different triggers upon a specific background. Its management is largely based on long-established treatments empirically tailored to the specific presenting symptoms and no real breakthrough has occurred to date. However, recent insights into the still rather obscure pathophysiology of rosacea seem to open the way for etiologically oriented treatments. These may include, on the one side, the more effective application of traditional drugs, such as tetracyclines and metronidazole, to specifically selected patients or, on the other side, new therapeutic options, such as vitamin D receptor antagonists. It is to be remarked that the quality of most studies evaluating rosacea treatment is rather poor, mainly due to a lack of proper standardization. For a major breakthrough to occur in the management of rosacea, we need both a better understanding of its pathogenesis and the adherence of future clinical trials to clearly defined grading and inclusion criteria, which are crucial for investigators to correctly compare and interpret the results of their work.
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