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Everything you need to know about ivermectin for rosacea

Is it safe to use topical ivermectin? Here’s what we know.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 • 3 min read
Medically reviewed by Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C
Ivermectin Ingredient Guide For Acne Rosacea Curology
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 • 3 min read
Medically reviewed by Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

Since 1988, ivermectin has been used to treat parasitic conditions in the skin—like roundworm, head lice, and rosacea. We’re here to share what we know about using ivermectin for certain skin concerns.

What is ivermectin? 

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory medication that comes in both topical and oral forms. Topical ivermectin is used to treat certain types of rosacea. It is also used to treat parasitic infections like ringworm and head lice. 

Infographic Ingredient Guide Ivermectin

What are the skin benefits of ivermectin? 

In dermatology, ivermectin is used to treat certain types of rosacea, a skin condition characterized by symptoms such as redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts. 

Although more research is needed, there is evidence that Demodex mites are more prevalent in those with rosacea. Ivermectin’s antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce signs of inflammation caused by Demodex mites that live in our skin's hair follicles. 

Topical ivermectin (commonly known by the brand name Soolantra) can be beneficial for improving rosacea by targeting and killing the parasites.

Rosacea, ivermectin, and your skin’s microbiome 

Our skin is home to an ecosystem of naturally occurring microorganisms. Skin conditions can arise when something throws that ecosystem’s balance off-kilter, which may be the case with rosacea. An overabundance of Demodex mites, the microscopic parasites that live in hair follicles, may trigger an autoimmune response, like rosacea. 

Rosacea is a common skin condition often characterized by persistent facial redness. 

Woman with rosacea on cheeks

Common symptoms of rosacea include: 

  • Facial redness

  • Acne-like lesions

  • Visible broken blood vessels

  • Dry, bloodshot eyes

  • Cheeks that flush easily

If you believe you have rosacea, talk to a medical provider who can help you properly manage the skin condition. They may prescribe you ivermectin, metronidazole, or another treatment for rosacea that makes sense for you. 

How long does ivermectin take to work for rosacea?

Most patients can expect to see improvement within 1-2 months but every patient is different. 

The side effects of ivermectin 

Topical ivermectin is low-risk for most people—it’s known to be safe and rarely causes side effects. However, an allergic reaction is possible. If you experience severe dryness, burning, or irritation, or if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as hives or swelling, seek treatment from an in-person medical provider. 

Topical ivermectin isn’t known to interact with other active ingredients, which means that it can mix easily into most skincare routines. But be sure to check with your prescribing medical provider! 

Curology Custom Formula

Curology does offer ivermectin in its Custom Formulas. You can try prescription strength ingredients like ivermectin by signing up for a 30-day free trial of Curology. Just snap a few selfies and take a quick skin quiz, and then we’ll match you with a medical provider trained and licensed to practice dermatology in your state.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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If Curology is right for you, we’ll send you a Custom Formula with a mix of ingredients chosen for your unique skin concerns, plus any of our recommended products, for $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping and handling.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Nicole Hangsterfer Avatar

Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C

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