by Wong Darren
Posted on Saturday 15th of August 2009
Azelaic Acid and Acne
Azelaic acid is a natural chemical that’s produced by the action of a particular yeast. It is a naturally occurring acid that may be found in grains like wheat. Azelaic acid has three main and very distinct properties that have elevated its role in acne treatment:
1. The ability to fight off anaerobic bacteria (P. acnes) that cause the pustules and lesions on the face, back, neck and chest.
2. The ability to reducing inflammation (though its relative strength is low compared to specifically designed anti-inflammatory products).
3. It also has the ability to reduce the number of comedones in affected areas.
Acne Products that Contain Azelaic Acid
Is azelaic acid popular? Culturally, no. However, you can find this ingredient in the following products:
Only a small amount should be used. If you think you have acne-prone areas, then it’s time to hit those areas with a small amount of whatever preparation you’re using.
Will it work right away? Well, a month or so is better than nothing. The gradual clearing of the skin would take place if there are no adverse side effects and you have been able to faithfully place a pea-sized amount of the stuff on your acne spots.
To maximize the benefits of azelaic acid, make sure that your face had already been washed carefully and patted dry. The skin has to be clean so that the active ingredient would be able to penetrate the skin as deeply as it could.
How Does Azelaic Acid Work on Acne?
If topical antibiotics, retinoids and benzoyl peroxide are popular with the medical establishment, why do azelaic acid and weaker ingredients still flourish in the acne treatment market?
There are instances that the most popular treatments for acne do not suit the patients themselves. If the allergic reactions are intolerable, doctors shift down to milder substitutes. Remember, acne treatment differs from one person to another.
There is no ‘ideal’ acne treatment for everyone, if we are to be truthful to what we known physiologically about the human skin and its properties (both chemical and genetic).
Azelaic Acid Side Effects on Acne
Azelaic acid treats acne and acne-like disorders like rosacea but it cannot cure these problems. The cure for acne is yet to be discovered. It can take around 4 weeks or more of azalaic acid use before you notice positive improvements on your skin. If you haven’t seen some benefits yet, don’t get discouraged. A lot of people give up just when they are about to see some positive results.
Azelaic acid is non-toxic and is tolerated fairly well by most users. However, some people, particularly eczema sufferers and those with extremely sensitive skin, reported some side effects like mild dermatitis, scaling and redness.
Some users reported some discoloration of their faces, especially pregnant women or women on the pill. To be safe, use azelaic acid-containing products only if you really, really need to and you’re presently breastfeeding.
If you experience serious side effects like a sudden rash breakout, consult your doctor or dermatologist immediately.
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