Treating comedones with azelaic acid

Azelaic acid can be successfully used by people who have comedones (also called clogged pores) and mild or moderate form if inflammatory acne. It is usually used when benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids are not effective or cause skin irritation.

Azelaic acid possess several effects making it valuable in comedonal acne treatment:

1. Antibacterial effect. It is shown that azelaic acid inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause acne. Azelaic acid containing products have bacteriostatic effect against Propionibacterium acne, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus etc. Using such a products within a few weeks significantly reduces bacteria. At the same time there is no bacteria resistance development observed making azelaic acid treatments effective for the long-term use. The antibacterial action is observed both on the skin surface and deep inside the sebaceous glands preventing blocked pores from inflammation.

2. Keratolytic action. In addiction to the antibacterial action, azelaic acid is very effective in preventing upper skin cells layer keratinization. Its keratolytic action helps to prevent clogged pores formation and comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) appearance due to the slowing keratinization process and comedones destruction. Used topically azelaic acid significantly reduces the number of micro-comedones and comedonal acne.

3. Anti-inflammatory effect. Azelaic acid anti-inflammatory effect is based on the inhibition of free fatty acids production that causes irritating effect and trigger skin inflammation development mechanism. This makes azelaic acid quite effective in preventing comedones inflammation.

4. Azelaic acid is also used for mild and moderate rosacea and some forms of hyperpigmentation treatments.

Main properties:

- Treats acne;
- Antibacterial action against Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis;
- Decreases free fatty acids in the skin lipids;
- Normalizes epidermal cells keratinization process preventing blocked pores formation;
- Normalizes keratinization processes inside the sebaceous glands;
- Blocks melanin synthesis;
- Inhibits the action of abnormal melanocytes which cause hyperpigmentation;
- Antioxidant activity;
- Reduces the signs of post-acne;

Indications:

- Acne vulgaris (acne vulgaris);
- Seborrheic dermatitis;
- Pathologic Hyperpigmentation;
- Rosacea;
- Chloasma;
- Melasma;

Azelaic acid can be found in following products:

- Skin care products designed for acne-prone skin, skin with rosacea, oily skin, skin with hyperpigmentation;
- Skin care products designed for post-acne removal;
- Skin cleansing products;
- Can be found as a buffer component or pH regulator in cosmetics;

While using azelaic acid containing skin care products a broad-spectrum sunscreens (UVA and UVB) should be used to prevent sun-caused hyperpigmentation and acne disease exacerbation.
Azelaic acid containing products should be used until the complete recover observed; premature treatment termination may cause acne to return or even get worse.

Side effects:

Among the side effects a simple dermatitis is possible but extremely rare.