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Finacea Gel

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Treatment Information

Table of contents

Patient Reviews: How Finacea Gel Has Made a Difference

What is Finacea?

Finacea 15% gel is a topical agent which kills bacteria associated with causing rosacea - an inflammatory condition which causes symptoms of a facial rash, spots, flushing and bloodshot eyes.

Finacea gel contains azelaic acid which inhibits the growth of keratinocytes (cells found on the skin) and kills bacteria on the surface of the skin.

Azelaic acid is also referred to as a chemical exfoliator, though it is gentler on the skin than other medicines in this class.

While Azelaic acid is found in a number of over-the-counter treatments for acne and rosacea, Finacea 15% gel is not availableover the counter.

However, you can order Finacea 15% gel online from Prescription Doctor following an online consultation with one of our doctors.

How long does Finacea (azelaic acid) 15% gel take to work?

You may notice a difference in your symptoms after just 4 weeks of treatment with Finacea. If no improvement is seen after a month of correct usage (as prescribed), contact your doctor.

Some people may find that Finacea does not help their acne, and may require an alternative treatment such as Soolantra.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition causing redness and inflammation on different areas of the face, such as the cheeks and nose. The rash may cause irritation leading to a stinging or burning sensation.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), rosacea is more likely to affect people between the ages of 40 and 60. Women are more prone to rosacea than men, though the symptoms may appear more severe in men with rosacea.

Moreover, rosacea affects people differently, depending on the specific type. Some people may experience a rash on the cheeks while others may experience acne-like breakouts on the chin. There are 4 main types of rosacea:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterised by flushing, redness of the skin and blood vessels becoming visible.
  • Papulopustular rosacea causes breakouts similar to acne. Skin often appears red and swollen.
  • Phymatous rosacea thickens the skin and causes it to have a bumpy texture.
  • Ocular rosacea affects the skin around the eyes. Eyelids appear swollen and may cause a sty-like lump. Eyes can also be red and irritated.

What causes Rosacea?

Rosacea flare-ups may be caused by any number of factors or triggers. Once a trigger is known, it can be avoided to prevent rosacea flare-ups from happening in the future.

Some triggers of rosacea may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cheese
  • Hot drinks
  • Intense exercise
  • Spicy foods
  • Stress
  • Weather changes

The NHS say that rosacea is not contagious, nor is it caused by poor hygiene. Though, some cleansing products may exacerbate your condition.

Untreated rosacea may become severe causing complications such as eye infections (conjunctivitis) and nasal disfigurement (rhinophyma).

No matter how rosacea affects you, you should speak to your doctor about your condition and discuss possible causes of flare-ups and treatment options. There are a number of treatments available for rosacea, allowing you to find the one which works for you.

Can rosacea be cured?

While there is no cure for rosacea, there are a number of treatments which have been proven to reduce the symptoms, such as Finacea 15% gel.

There may also be lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of flare-ups such as:

  • switching skincare products to the ones designed for sensitive skin
  • avoiding make-up
  • adjusting your diet to consume fewer foods which might trigger your rosacea.

How does Finacea 15% gel work for rosacea?

Azelaic acid, the active ingredient of Finacea works in two ways to combat rosacea. It is more specifically effective against the papulopustular rosacea type.

Firstly, azelaic acid inhibits the growth of keratin cells on the surface of the skin. These cells often block pores and contribute to the development of papules and pustules (spots) on the surface of the skin.

Azelaic acid also works as an antibiotic, killing bacteria called Priopionebacterium acnes. This bacterium feeds on sebum in the pores of the skin and excrete chemicals which cause inflammation and reddening of the surrounding tissues.

Finacea is a long-term treatment and should be taken regularly. Your doctor will advise you on how long you will need to take Finacea for.

How do I use Finacea?

For the treatment of rosacea, Finacea should be applied to the affected area twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. For best results, use the treatment at the same time each day.

  1. Before applying Finacea, thoroughly wash the area of application with warm water and a mild soap.
  2. Pat dry the area before applying Finacea gel.
  3. Apply a pea-sized amount of Finacea gel (about an inch) to the face and massage into the affected area. Avoid contact with your eyes.

Always wash your hands after using Finacea 15% gel.

It’s important to use Finacea as prescribed by your doctor.

What should I do if I forget to use Finacea when I should?

If you forget to use Finacea when you should, use it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next application, in which case you should skip the missed dose and use Finacea again at the usual time. Do not use more Finacea to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I use more Finacea than I should?

If you accidentally apply too much Finacea gel, wipe away any excess with a clean tissue and discard it safely. Using more Finacea 15% gel than you should will not clear your rosacea faster, but may increase your risk of side effects.

Finacea side effects and cautions

All medications carry the risk of side effects, but not everyone will experience them. You should always be aware of the side effects or cautions associated with any medication you take.

The full list of side effects and cautions of using Finacea, as well as the full list of its ingredients, can be found in the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.

View the Patient Information Leaflet for Finacea 15% Gel Online (PDF)

Very common side effects of Finacea include:

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Itching

Common side effects of using Finacea include:

  • Irritation at the site of application
  • Numbness at the site of application
  • Dry skin at the site of application
  • Rash

Rare side effects of using Finacea include:

  • Skin reaction
  • Scaling of the skin
  • Skin discolouration
  • Swelling

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Allergic reaction

Do not use Finacea if you are allergic to azelaic acid or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction after using Finacea, stop using the gel and go straight to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so the doctors know exactly what you have used.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

What should I do if I accidentally get Finacea 15% gel in my eyes?

If you get some Finacea gel in your eyes, rinse your eyes with water. If you experience prolonged irritation after rinsing the product out of your eyes, seek immediate medical attention.

Other safety information

Always read the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine before you start using Finacea.

Please inform our prescriber of all medications you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your doctor, bought over the counter from a pharmacy, as well as herbal and vitamin supplements.

Do not use Finacea 15% gel past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the month.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose it safely on your behalf.

Always store Finacea out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms as you or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.

Frequently asked questions

Will using Finacea affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Using Finacea should not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. If you notice dizziness or visual disturbances after using Finacea, avoid such activities until you feel that it is safe for you to resume them.

Can I drink alcohol while using Finacea?

Finacea is unlikely to be affected by the consumption of alcohol. However, if your rosacea is triggered or exacerbated by consuming alcohol, you should avoid or limit alcohol consumption while using Finacea.

Can I use Finacea while pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using Finacea as it may not be suitable for you.

Will using Finacea affect my contraceptive pill?

There are no known interactions between using Finacea and contraceptive pills, including the morning after pill. If you are concerned about any medicine reducing the effectiveness of your contraceptive, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Can I use make-up while using Finacea?

Yes, you can use make-up while using Finacea gel. Apply Finacea first and allow the area to dry before applying make-up.

If you have rosacea, you may want to use cosmetic products which do not exacerbate your symptoms. Look for products intended for sensitive skin.

Can I shave while using Finacea 15% gel?

There have been no reports that using Finacea will affect shaving. For men, shaving can pose a significant threat to their rosacea, potentially worsening their symptoms. It may be more suitable for men to use electric razors instead of normal razors to reduce the level of irritation on the skin.

You should also avoid shaving creams, lotions and aftershave products which may irritate your skin. Instead, use shaving products which are suitable for sensitive skin types and use a moisturiser or balm after shaving to soothe the skin.


Additional information

How to get rid of rosacea


Leo Laboratories Limited, 2019. Finacea 15% Gel: Summary of Product Characteristics

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Finacea
  • Active Ingredient(s): Azelaic acid
  • Manufacturer: Leo Laboratories Ltd
  • Administration: Topical
  • Presentation: Gel
  • Available Strength: 15% Azelaic acid
  • Exemption: Prescription only medication
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with rosacea
  • Dosage: Apply to affected area twice a day
  • Description: Finacea is a topical gel to treat rosacea
  • Drug Class: Dicarboxylic acid
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Tell our prescriber if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant
  • When Breastfeeding: Tell our prescriber if you are breastfeeding
  • Price: 14.99 GBP
Click here to view the Finacea Gel - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored By

Mohamed Imran

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 12/09/2018

Reviewed By

Dr Giuseppe Aragona
Dr. Giuseppe utilises his extensive experience in general practice to ensure the accuracy and safety of the website's content.

Reviewed on: 13/03/2024

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