Question: I’ve tried just about everything for acne. I wanted to try Retin A but my doctor gave me a prescription for Azelaic acid. Do you think it could help or should I go to a doctor to give me what I want?
Answer: Azelaic is one of the newer acne fighters. It is found on a yeast that lives on our skin and is a natural anti-inflammatory compound. It is a triple threat against acne– kills bacteria that provoke breakouts, decreases the growth of pore clogging keratin and reduces irritation. But wait there’s more. Azelaic acid is effective for lightening dark spots and melasma because it inhibits the production of melanin. It is especially effective for darker skin tones because it avoids the problems of irritation of Retin A and Benzoyl Peroxide. Azelaic is also prescribed for types of rosacea breakouts that resemble acne eruptions. Finacea is a 15% Azelaic gel that has been a pproved for both mild to moderate acne and rosacea.
You can also find azelaic acid in over the counter products, but usually the concentration is not listed on the label. One excellent example where the this info is available is Acne Gel from PCA Skin that contains 5% Azelaic Acid and 2% salicylic acid ( Its available online from The Derm Store). You can also try to get the azelaic acid levels in a product by writing to the manufacturer.
One final thought: Azelaic acid works for less severe acne. If you have cystic and/or hormonal acne, Azeleic alone will not get the job done.