What is Azelaic Acid? The benefists of Azelaic Acid for Acne

Exploring the realm of skincare solutions, one notable contender in the fight against acne is Azelaic Acid. This compound has gained attention for its potential effectiveness in addressing acne-related concerns. Let’s delve into the key aspects and considerations surrounding the use of Azelaic Acid for Acne.

What is Azelaic Acid The benefists of Azelaic Acid for Acne
What is Azelaic Acid? The benefits of Azelaic Acid for Acne

What Is Azelaic Acid?

Azelaic acid serves as an acne treatment that is accessible without a doctor’s prescription, available both over the counter and through a healthcare provider’s prescription.

Functioning as a chemical exfoliator, azelaic acid aids in the removal of acne blockages within hair follicles, including whiteheads and blackheads. It also serves to eliminate trapped skin cells, oil, cosmetics, and other substances that can block follicles, thus diminishing the risk of future acne development.

In over-the-counter products, azelaic acid is commonly found in 10% concentrations, while prescribed products may contain 20% concentrations. It is often available in the form of gels or creams.

What Effect Does Azelaic Acid Have?

Azelaic acid operates by eliminating and diminishing acne-causing bacteria, unclogging, and cleansing pores to minimize bacteria-related skin irritation. It is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate acne and aids in limiting acne by reducing skin inflammation.

The specific effects of Azelaic acid in formulated products are outlined as follows:

  1. Treatment of acne scars: Azelaic acid facilitates changes in skin cells, thereby minimizing scarring caused by acne.
  2. Brighter skin: By inhibiting the synthesis of melanin, Azelaic acid contributes to brighter skin.
  3. Reduction of hyperpigmentation: Azelaic acid prevents skin cells from discoloring, addressing hyperpigmentation caused by acne-related inflammation.
  4. Treatment of rosacea: Azelaic acid effectively reduces inflammation and treats symptoms associated with rosacea, including skin swelling and blood vessel enlargement.

How Does Azelaic Acid Work?

How Does Azelaic Acid Work
How Does Azelaic Acid Work

Azelaic acid operates similarly to alpha-hydroxy acids by penetrating the skin and disrupting blockages that lead to acne. While it may not be as potent as other chemical exfoliators, it stands out for its gentle nature, serving as a final option when other treatments are not well-tolerated.

Additionally, Azelaic acid can eliminate the bacteria, P.acnes, which plays a role in instigating inflammation and the formation of pus in acne.

Uses Of Azelaic Acid For Acne

Azelaic acid functions by:

  1. Clearing pores of bacteria that could lead to irritation or breakouts.
  2. Diminishing inflammation, making acne less visible, less red, and less irritated.
  3. Gentle stimulation of cell turnover, promoting faster skin healing and minimizing scarring.

Remember to steer clear of astringents or “deep-cleansing” cleansers when incorporating azelaic acid into your skincare routine.

The frequency of applying the medication may differ based on your doctor’s recommendations, with some individuals requiring application twice daily.

Azelaic acid operates by:

  1. Purging pores of bacteria that may cause irritation or breakouts.
  2. Reducing inflammation, resulting in acne appearing less prominent, less red, and less irritated.
  3. Mildly encouraging cell turnover, facilitating quicker skin healing, and reducing the likelihood of scarring.

Other Uses For Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is employed for various skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and skin lightening.

  • Azelaic acid for hyperpigmentation: Following a breakout, inflammation can lead to hyperpigmentation in certain areas of your skin. Azelaic acid prevents the accumulation of discolored skin cells. Azelaic acid is effective in addressing acne and correcting hyperpigmentation caused by acne. Additional studies on diverse skin types have demonstrated the safety and benefits of using azelaic acid for this purpose.
  • Azelaic acid for skin lightening: The efficacy of azelaic acid in treating inflammatory hyperpigmentation extends to its ability to lighten skin affected by melanin.
  • Azelaic acid for rosacea: By reducing inflammation, azelaic acid proves to be an effective treatment for alleviating symptoms associated with rosacea.

What Are The Possible Side Effects When Using Azelaic Acid?

What Are The Possible Side Effects When Using Azelaic Acid
What Are The Possible Side Effects When Using Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid may lead to side effects, such as:

  • Burning or tingling sensation on the skin
  • Peeling of the skin at the application site
  • Skin dryness or redness

Less frequently reported side effects encompass:

  • Blistering or flaking of the skin
  • Irritation and swelling
  • Tightness or pain in the joints
  • Hives and itching
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing

If you encounter any of these side effects, discontinue the use of azelaic acid and seek medical attention.

It is crucial to wear sunscreen consistently when outdoors, with heightened attention to using SPF products during the use of azelaic acid. Given its potential to thin the skin, your skin becomes more susceptible and prone to sun damage.

How does Azelaic Acid compare with Other Treatments?

Azelaic acid may not be suitable for everyone. The efficacy of the treatment can hinge on factors such as:

  • Symptoms
  • Skin type
  • Expectations

Given its gradual action, azelaic acid is frequently recommended in conjunction with other acne treatments.

Azelaic acid cream has demonstrated comparable effectiveness to benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin (Retin-A) in treating acne. Although the outcomes with azelaic acid resemble those achieved with benzoyl peroxide, it comes at a higher cost.

Additionally, azelaic acid exhibits a milder action compared to alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.

Unlike other acids that are potent enough for standalone use in chemical peels, azelaic acid is not. This implies that, although azelaic acid is less likely to cause skin irritation, it necessitates consistent usage and requires time to manifest its effects.


Is it okay to use azelaic acid every day?

Yes, Azelaic Acid is safe for daily use, and you can apply it up to twice a day for optimal results. However, if you have sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea or perioral dermatitis (POD), consider starting with alternate-day usage initially.

Is azelaic acid or salicylic acid better for acne?

If you’re uncertain about whether your skin condition is a result of rosacea or acne, opting for azelaic acid is a safer choice, as it has been observed to effectively treat both conditions. Conversely, salicylic acid may exacerbate symptoms of rosacea.

How effective is 10% azelaic acid?

Research indicates that using a 5%, 10%, or 20% azelaic acid formula twice daily over six months has shown some evidence of improving melasma discoloration. However, more high-quality evidence is required to establish its effectiveness conclusively.

The Bottom Line

Azelaic acid, a naturally occurring and milder acid than some popular alternatives for acne, has proven effectiveness in treating various skin conditions like acne, uneven skin tone, rosacea, and inflammation. Although immediate results may not be apparent, research supports its efficacy. Ensure to adhere closely to your doctor’s dosing and application instructions, as with any medication.

This article is for informative reference and to explore the nuances, benefits, and uses of Azelaic Acid for Acne. To learn more about our available skin care and other treatments and services, please visit the L Spa Da Nang website.

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