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Azelaic acid belongs to a class of chemicals called dicarboxylic acids. It is considered the second line of defense, used as alternatives for retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and other antibiotic formulations, usually in cases where they are not tolerated or are ineffective.
Azelaic acid is effective against mild to moderate acne and is used to get rid of the lumpy protuberances, redness and lesions brought about by rosacea, a skin disorder characterized by bumps, flushing, redness and large pimples on the face.
Azelaic acid works to get rid of acne by preventing the growth of P. acnes bacteria that infect the pores. It also blocks future acne by keeping the skin pores clean and checks the production of keratin, a fibrous protein on the skin that promotes the development of acne bacteria.
Azelaic acid discourages bacteria from building resistance to antibiotics. It does not reduce oil production so it does not dry the skin and cause sensitivity to the sun. Azelaic acid also does not stain or bleach clothing materials and skin.
If you prefer a “natural” treatment, azelaic acid should be the right choice. Azelaic acid is an all-natural chemical derived from grain products such as barley, rye and wheat.
• It is an antibacterial which inhibits the development of bacteria in pores and follicle.
• It reduces the formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and normalizes the abnormal development of skin cells around the follicle.
• It reduces swelling and inflammation by scavenging toxins and free radicals in the skin.
Azelaic acid is sold as a cream or gel and can constitutes twenty percent of creams marketed under the brands Finevin or Azelex. It is available only with a dermatologist or doctor's prescription.
Take a small, pea-sized portion and apply a thin layer on your clean, dry face and other areas that’s acne-prone. Be sure to remember that azelaic acid is normally applied twice a day, usually at about the same time everyday.
Carefully following the instructions on your doctor’s prescription is paramount for the treatment to succeed, so call your doctor in case you need further explanation. Apply azelaic acid as per manufacturer’s instruction and do not deviate from the prescribed dosage. Using more or less of it without consulting your doctor beforehand can affect the progress of your treatment.
Azelaic acid has been known to gradually slow down pigmentation in areas that have increased contact with it. If you have dark skin, there just might be a chance that you’ll end up with an uneven skin tone after your acne treatment with azelaic acid-containing products.
Like other active ingredients that cause exfoliation, there might be a chance that you would experience scaly and reddish skin. This is brought about by the accelerated shedding of the skin. This is vital for the restoration of acne-ridden skin.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, azelaic acid is considered as a pregnancy category B drug. What does this mean? This simply means that azelaic acid has not be known to cause teratogenic effects on animals that have been studies.
However, no significant studies have been done on humans. Therefore, we cannot be sure how safe the chemical is to pregnant and lactating women.