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    Azelaic Acid

    Information about Azelaic Acid

    Azelaic acid uses

    Azelaic Acid is used in the treatment of acne.

    How azelaic acid works

    Azelaic acid works by killing the acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation (redness and swelling) of the skin.

    Common side effects of azelaic acid

    Application site reactions (burning, irritation, itching and redness)
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    27 Dec 2019 | 01:08 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Azelaic Acid

    • Apply it precisely only over the affected area. If irritation happens, stop using it and consult your doctor.
    • If you have sensitive skin, you should apply Azelaic acid only once a day for the first week of treatment and then proceed to twice daily applications.
    • Before applying the cream/gel, clean the skin thoroughly with plain water and make it dry.
    • Avoid contact with eyes, mouth or other inner skin layers (mucous membranes). In case of accidental contact, wash immediately with large amounts of cold water.
    • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding.

    Frequently asked questions for Azelaic Acid

    Azelaic Acid

    Q. What amount of Azelaic Acid should be applied?

    Use it exactly as recommended by your doctor. As a guide, if the whole of your face is affected, use 2.5 cm (approx. 0.5 g) of cream each time. If you have acne on your chest and back, as well as your face, adjust the amount of cream accordingly.

    Q. How long does Azelaic Acid take to show complete effect?

    The time taken by Azelaic Acid to cure acne varies from individual to individual. It depends upon the severity of acne at the start of the treatment. Usually, the condition shows a distinct improvement after about 4 weeks. For best results, your doctor may prescribe to use Azelaic Acid regularly for several months. However, you should not use Azelaic Acid for more than 12 months at any time.

    Q. Does Azelaic Acid lighten skin?

    Azelaic Acid may cause change in skin color, especially if you have dark colored skin. If you notice any change in your skin color, contact your doctor immediately.

    Q. Does Azelaic Acid help blackheads?

    Azelaic Acid works by killing the bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that is responsible for acne. It also reduces growth of the harder outermost skin cells that block the pores of the skin to cause blackheads and whiteheads.

    Q. How should Azelaic Acid be applied?

    The area to be treated should be thoroughly washed with water. If the skin is greasy, use a mild cleanser. You should dry the skin before applying the cream. After applying the cream, rub it gently. Wash your hands thoroughly after using it.

    Q. How often should Azelaic Acid be used?

    Azelaic Acid should be applied to the affected areas of the skin twice daily (morning and evening), unless the doctor directs otherwise. People with very sensitive skin should use it only once a day (in the evening) during the first week of the treatment. After the first week, they can proceed to using it twice a day.

    Q. Can Azelaic Acid be used to treat melasma?

    Azelaic Acid is not approved for treating melasma. It should be used to treat acne and rosacea (a skin disease that causes redness, flushing, and pimples on the face). However, it may be used for melasma if prescribed by the doctor.

    Content on this page was last updated on 27 December, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)