Does Azelaic Acid Work?
Azelaic Acid Is Considered The Gentler Of The Prescription Acne Treatments But Is It Effective?
Azelaic Acid pronounced (Az-Ey-Lay-Ik) is a natural acid that treats acne by preventing the growth of acne bacteria and stops comedones (blackheads) and open comedones (whiteheads) from developing and forming due to helping the skin to renew itself.
It also has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin which is why its often also used to treat rosacea.
It is available by prescription only, only 2 prescription medications that are available in the UK and Ireland that use Azelaic Acid as the primary active ingredient are Finacea and Skinoren.
Azelaic acid is not purported to be as good at treating severe acne but for mild to moderate acne, it can be very effective, especially for those who can’t tolerate stronger solutions.
How To Use Azelaic Acid
It is recommended to apply azelaic acid twice a day to affected areas, preferably in the morning and then again before bed.
Azelaic Acid Side Effects
It is generally well tolerated by most people, especially those who can’t use stronger medications.
The most common side effects reported are skin irritation and dryness.
Some users have reported a burning sensation upon application of the gel and some have suffered reactions such as redness, itching and flaking.
Although these usually do settle down, for some people these problems continue until you stop using azelaic acid.
If you have asthma, your doctor may not prescribe it as the condition can be worsened by using azelaic acid
How Long Does Azelaic Acid Take To Work?
It is usually recommended that azelaic acid is used for at least 4 weeks but it could take several weeks before any obvious improvement can be seen.
Should I Use Azelaic Acid?
If you have tried various other topical options and they don’t seem to be working for you or you find the side effects too uncomfortable to put up with, azelaic acid may be an option for you.
If you have very severe acne, azelaic acid may not give you the results you were hoping for. Your doctor can best advise you on whether he/she thinks treatment with azelaic is right for you.
If you don’t like the idea of taking prescription based medications then there are a number of natural acne treatments that provide an effective solution without the potential side effects.
We have rounded up some of the best acne treatments available in Ireland (in our opinion).