Azelaic acid 101: An expert explains why it can be magical for your skin

Looking to improve the tone and texture of your skin? Look no further than azelaic acid! A dermatologist speaks about this unique ingredient.
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Include azelaic acid in your skincare routine and thank us later! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 13:52 pm IST
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We are often in the pursuit of trying various products and at-home-treatments for the nourishment and health of our skin. One such ingredient that has the ability to improve the tone and texture of our skin is azelaic acid. It is a naturally occurring acid called a dicarboxylic acid, and can be naturally found in grains like barley, wheat, and rye.

To better understand how azelaic acid can benefit the skin, we spoke to Dr Manjul Agarwal – Senior Consultant – Dermatology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh.

Add azelaic acid to your skincare routine to improve dermal health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
What is azelaic acid?

Dr Agarwal informed us that, “Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring saturated 9-carbon dicarboxylic acid found in whole grain cereals and it is normally present in human plasma also. Azelaic acid is commercially available as 10%, 15% and 20% cream or gel preparations.”

It is one of the most versatile topical preparations available in dermatology and has plenty of benefits, added the expert.

How can azelaic acid benefit the skin?

When it comes to the benefits of azelaic acid for the skin, Dr Agarwal mentioned that it broadly provides 3 benefits:

Reduces acne: “Azelaic acid has an excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity, hence very useful for the treatment of acne,” stated Dr Agarwal. These properties are extremely beneficial when managing acne. She added that azelaic acid is useful as “it reduces the concentration of acne-causing bacteria and also inhibits comedone formation which is the earliest form of acne.”

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Treat acne with azelaic acid! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She recommends using azelaic acid at least twice a day for acne, as it leads to improvement in acne within 1-2 months, while at maximum, results can be expected after 3-4 months of use.

Promotes skin lightening: Azelaic acid also has skin lightening properties. The expert explained that it decreases hyperactive and abnormal melanocytes and is hence “prescribed in disorders of hyperpigmentation like brown spots which occur as a result of acne, freckles, melasma, pigmentation due to other causes like physical or chemical agents and also pigmentation left behind after any dermatological disease.”

Helps with skin conditions: Azelaic acid is beneficial for mitigating certain skin conditions as well. “Another very important benefit of azelaic acid is for patients who suffer from rosacea. Other uses of azelaic acid include its use in perioral dermatitis. Some studies also show that it may be useful in clearing plaque psoriasis as it also normalises keratinization,” mentioned Dr Agarwal.

So, ladies, get in touch with a dermatologist and try using azelaic acid for improving the health, tone, and texture of your skin.

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Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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