The front of a box of Finacea gel

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Finacea Gel

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The front of a box of Finacea gel
Finacea gel is a medicated gel that’s prescribed for mild to moderate acne, and can reduce symptoms like redness and inflammation. It is applied directly to the affected area of the face, and you should see improvements in your symptoms after 4 weeks of treatment.

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Finacea Gel 15% - 30g £22.00

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About Finacea
Finacea is a gel used to treat a type of acne called papulopustular acne that mainly affects the face and causes red and white spots. It contains the active ingredient azelaic acid, which is an anti acne preparation. It should be used on affected areas of the face to treat mild to moderate acne.
Finacea contains azelaic acid, which can treat acne by killing the bacteria that cause spots on the skin. It can also decrease the production of keratin, which is a natural substance that is produced by the body that can sometimes cause or worsen acne. Finacea is also an anti inflammatory, meaning it can help reduce the swelling and redness caused by acne. 

How long does Finacea take to work?

Finacea gel will start to work straight away, but you should start to see a significant improvement after using it for 4 weeks. Depending on the severity of your acne, you may see results before or after this. 

Finacea lasts for as long as you are using it. It takes several weeks to start working effectively, but most people find they don’t need to use it for longer than 6 months. 

You should see a significant improvement after 4 weeks. You should use Finacea gel for as long as your doctor tells you to. It is usually not needed for more than 6 months, but you can get it prescribed again if you get another flare up. 

How effective is Finacea

Finacea gel has been shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate acne when applied twice daily. One trial showed that people who used Finacea gel had their number of facial lesions reduced by nearly 58% while people who used a placebo gel had their number of facial lesions reduced by just under 40%.
Finacea should be used twice a day, for as long as you need it. Apply it once in the morning and once in the evening. Around a pea-sized amount (2.5cm) of gel is enough to cover the entire face. Finacea gel works best if you use it continuously and as your doctor has prescribed. 

Finacea should only be used externally, on the parts of your face where you have acne spots. 

How to apply Finacea gel

To apply Finacea gel:

  1. Start by cleaning your skin thoroughly with water. You can use a mild cleanser if it does not irritate your skin. Make sure your face is fully dry before application. Apply Finacea gel to the affected areas of your face and use sparingly. Around 2.5cm of gel is enough for the entire face. If you only have acne on one part of your face, you should use less. 
  2. Rub the gel into your skin gently. Make sure you avoid your eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Wash the gel away with water if you get any in these areas. 
Do not use any dressing or wraps on your skin and wash your hands after using the gel.

How long do you need to take Finacea for?

How long you need Finacea will depend on your acne symptoms. You can use Finacea gel safely for several months at a time, as long as your skin is improving. If your acne gets worse or does not improve after 1 month of treatment, your doctor may tell you to stop using Finacea and offer an alternative treatment.

Can I buy Finacea online?

Yes, you can get Finacea gel online through trusted sellers such as Superdrug Online Doctor. Simply complete a brief medical form which will be reviewed by a doctor. This may include a photo of your acne. If Finacea is suitable for you, it will be prescribed and sent to your home. You can also choose to Click & Collect at your nearest Superdrug Pharmacy. 

Can I buy Finacea over the counter?

No, Finacea contains an active ingredient that can only be prescribed to you. There are over the counter creams and gels for acne, but they will not contain azelaic acid. 

Can I get Finacea on the NHS?

You can get Finacea on the NHS but sometimes only if other treatments have not been effective or have caused side effects.
Finacea gel may have some side effects but this will only affect the skin where it is applied. You may get mild to moderate irritation whilst your skin gets used to the medication, but this should decrease during your treatment course. 

You should go to A&E or call 999 if you get a serious allergic reaction which can cause symptoms such as:

  • eye swelling
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of the face

Very common side effects of Finacea include:

  • pain, itching, or burning where the gel was applied

Common side effects of Finacea include:

  • dry skin where the gel was applied
  • rash
  • numbness or tingling in the face

Uncommon side effects of Finacea include:

  • abnormal redness of the skin
  • contact dermatitis, a skin reaction
  • warmth, scaly skin, or discolouration where the gel was applied

Rare side effects of Finacea include:

  • hives
  • skin irritation
  • worsening of asthma symptoms

How long do Finacea side effects last?

Most Finacea side effects should go away within a few weeks of treatment. You can speak to your doctor if the side effects do not get better or bother you a lot. They may recommend another acne treatment. 

What to do if you get Finacea side effects

If you get Finacea side effects, try to stick with the treatment and see if they improve naturally. You can reduce the frequency of use from twice a day to once a day if you need to. If the irritation or burning bothers you a lot, remove the gel by washing your face and speak to your doctor.
Finacea may not be the right acne treatment for everyone. Certain medical conditions or medications could interact with Finacea, making it less effective or potentially unsafe. You should speak to your doctor if you take any other medications or have any medical conditions before using Finacea for the first time.

Contraindications

You should not use Finacea gel if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, especially azelaic acid. If you think you might be pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor before using Finacea. 

Medications that interact with Finacea

There is not enough available evidence to show whether any medications interact with Finacea. It is advised not to use any other treatments or medications on your face at the same time as using Finacea gel.
If Finacea is not suitable or does not work, there are other acne treatments that Superdrug Online Doctor can provide. These include tablets that can kill the bacteria that causes acne, as well as other topical treatments for affected areas of your skin. You can speak to one of our doctors if you are not sure which treatment is best for your acne symptoms.

Finacea vs Lymecycline and Epiduo Combo

Lymecycline and Epiduo combo is a capsule and gel combo for the treatment of acne. Lymecycline can be used to fight the bacteria that cause acne, improving the look of your skin. Epiduo is a topical treatment that is applied to the affected areas to reduce redness and swelling. You can also get this combo treatment with Differin gel, which works similarly to reduce acne symptoms.

*This treatment combination will not be suitable for you if you are unable to take antibiotics.

Finacea vs Oxytetracycline and Epiduo Combo

Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic which can be used to reduce the bacteria that cause acne. This is usually prescribed in more severe cases of acne. Epiduo is a topical treatment which works well in combination with Oxytetracycline to reduce redness and inflammation. You can also get Epiduo gel on its own.

*This treatment combination will not be suitable for you if you are unable to take antibiotics.

Finacea vs Zineryt

Zineryt is a topical solution like Finacea, but it contains a different active ingredient. Zineryt contains erythromycin, which is an antibiotic known to reduce the bacteria that cause acne. It can be applied twice daily to the skin, for 10 to 12 weeks. This treatment works well if you have whiteheads and mild acne symptoms. 

*This treatment will not be suitable for you if you are unable to take antibiotics.

Finacea vs Aknemycin Plus

Aknemycin Plus is a similar treatment to Zineryt, as it also contains the antibiotic erythromycin. It is used in the treatment of mild to moderate acne and should be applied to affected areas of the face. It comes in the form of a solution which should be applied 1 to 2 times daily. This treatment is usually used for 9 to 12 weeks. 

*This treatment will not be suitable for you if you are unable to take antibiotics.

Finacea vs Treclin gel

Treclin gel is an acne treatment usually prescribed for moderate cases of acne. Unlike Finacea, Treclin contains 2 active ingredients, which are clindamycin and tretinoin. Clindamycin is an antibiotic which can help kill the bacteria living on your skin that cause acne. Tretinoin can reduce acne by helping to shed dead skin cells. 

*This treatment will not be suitable for you if you are unable to take antibiotics.

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Reviewed by: Dr Babak Ashrafi in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 6077866

Dr Ashrafi studied at King’s College London and specialises in cardiology, diabetes, and stroke medicine.

Last reviewed on: 27/06/22