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Forty patients with rosacea were entered into a study comparing clarithromycin with doxycycline in the systemic treatment of mild and severe rosacea. The patients, 25 women and 15 men, aged from 26 to 62 years, were subdivided into two homogeneous groups with regard to age, sex, and disease severity. The first group of 23 patients, 14 women and 9 men, was treated with 250 mg of clarithromycin for 4 weeks twice daily, and then with 250 mg once daily for the following 4 weeks. The second group of 17 patients, 11 women and 6 men was treated with 100 mg of doxycycline for 4 weeks twice daily, and then with 100 mg once a day for the following 4 weeks. Both objective and subjective evaluations of the dermatosis were performed prior to therapy and after 4, 6, and 8 weeks of treatment.