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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 02/07/2020 Next review: 02/01/2021

What is Finacea?

Finacea 15% gel is a topical agent which kills bacteria associated with causing rosacea - a condition characterised by a facial rash, spots, flushing and bloodshot eyes.

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

While Azelaic acid is found in a number of over-the-counter treatments for acne and rosacea, Finacea 15% gel is not available to buy over the counter. However, you can buy Finacea 15% gel online from Prescription Doctor following an online consultation with our doctor.

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

You may notice a difference after just 4 weeks of treatment with Finacea. If no improvements is seen after a month of use, contact your doctor.

What is rosacea?

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

It can be difficult to determine what triggers rosacea to flare up in some people, as any number of factors could be to blame. Once a trigger is known, it can be avoided to prevent a flare up from happening in the future.

Triggers of rosacea may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cheese
  • Hot drinks
  • Spicy foods

Identifying potential triggers of your rosacea can help you to manage your condition more effectively. Speak to your doctor about what might be causing your rosacea to flare up.

Moreover, rosacea affects people differently. Some people may experience a rash on the cheeks while other's may experience acne-like breakouts on the chin. Depending on where your rosacea develops and how it appears has resulted in different types of rosacea being identified.

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.

No matter where rosacea affects you, you should speak to your doctor about your condition and discuss possible treatments. There are a number of treatments available for rosacea, allowing you to find the one which works for you.

Can rosacea be cured?

There is currently no cure for the condition, but there are a number of treatments which have been proven to reduce the signs and symptoms of rosacea.

There may also be changes you can make to your lifestyle or skincare routine which can prevent unnecessary aggravation of your skin, such as switching skincare products to ones designed for sensitive skin, avoiding make-up and possibly adjusting your diet to consume less 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 often effective against papulopustular rosacea.

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 postules (spots) on the surface of the skin.

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

Together, the two actions of Finacea work to combat the root cause of rosacea.

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

How to 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.

Before applying Finacea, thoroughly wash the area of application with warm water and a mild soap.

Pat dry the area before applying Finacea gel.

Apply a pea-sized amount of Finacea gel 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 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.

Finacea side effects and cautions

All medications carry the risk of side effects. Educating yourself on the side effects associated with the medication you are taking is imperative to your safety during the course of your treatment.

Very common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Itching

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

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

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

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

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Finacea, including a complete list of side effects can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

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.

Can I use Finacea while pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

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 casualty department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctor's know exactly what has caused it.

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

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Finacea online from Prescription Doctor.

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 health and herbal 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 of 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

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 dosage, 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 of it safely. Using more Finacea 15% gel than you should will not clear your rosacea faster, but may increase your risk of side effects.

Will Finacea affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Finacea should 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.

Will Finacea affect my contraceptive pill?

There are no known interactions between Finacea and contraceptive pills, including the morning after pill. If you are concerned about a medicine reducing the efficacy 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 ski

Can I shave while using Finacea 15% gel?

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 may 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.

Table of contents

What is Finacea?

What is rosacea?

How does Finacea 15% gel work for rosacea?

How to use Finacea

Side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions


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

NHS, 2020. Rosacea.

British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), 2020. Azelaic Acid.

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
Click here to view the Finacea - Patient Information Leaflet

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