Acne Treatment Journal

Azelaic Acid Anti-Acne Drug Information
A guide to the topical anti-acne drug azelaic acid including usage guide, side effects and typical results.

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Azelaic acid is a topical antibacterial acne drug that works by killing the P. Acnes bacteria and helping to reduce the forming of comedones or inflammatory lesions.

A 20% concentration of azelaic acid is the active ingredient in brand name medications such as Azelex, Finevin, and Finacea.

It can only be obtained by prescription from a dermatologist and not over the counter (OTC).

Azelaic acid is as effective by itself as a retinoid such as tretinion or adapalene but may be paired with one to improve the acid's antibacterial effects on the P. Acnes bacteria deep within your hair follicles.

As with other topical acne medications it may take a few weeks of consistent use to see improvement in your skin.

The side effects of azelaic acid are again similar to other topical anti-acne drugs including burning, itching, peeling, stinging, redness, and tingling. These side effects are usually temporary and diminish as your skin becomes accustomed to the medication.

All the usual precautions apply when you're using azelaic acid including contacting your dermatologist if there are major side effects, don't share this medication with others, and above all else don't stop or start treatment without speaking to your doctor first.

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