Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye.
It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it effective in the treatment of skin conditions like acne and rosacea. The acid can prevent future outbreaks and clean bacteria from your pores that causes acne.
Azelaic acid is applied to your skin and is available in gel, foam, and cream form. Azelex and Finacea are two brand names for prescription topical preparations. They contain 15 percent or more of azelaic acid. Some over-the-counter products contain smaller amounts.
Because it takes some time to take effect, azelaic acid by itself isn’t typically a dermatologist’s first choice for treating acne. The acid also has some side effects, such as skin burning, dryness, and peeling. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about using azelaic acid for acne.
Azelaic acid works by:
- clearing your pores of bacteria that may be causing irritation or breakouts
- reducing inflammation so acne becomes less visible, less red, and less irritated
- gently encouraging cell turnover so your skin heals more quickly and scarring is minimized