Azelex for Acne
Each year, some 64 million Americans suffer from common acne, also known as acne vulgaris, or from acne rosacea, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although the conditions have different causes, each can produce tiny pimples along with blackheads and whiteheads. If you have common acne or acne rosacea, your physician might prescribe Azelex to help you clear your skin.
Common acne normally first appears during your teenage years, as your skin produces more oil and that oil clogs your pores. Bacteria can build up within clogged pores, leading to infection and swollen pimples. Almost everyone gets acne. Acne rosacea, meanwhile, normally develops between the ages of 30 and 60 in fair-skinned people, and it's more common in women.
Azelex, a topical prescription medication with the active ingredient azelaic acid, helps to clear pimples and swelling caused by both common acne and acne rosacea, according to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Health database. It kills bacteria that contribute to acne formation, and also causes the skin to rejuvenate itself, which helps to clear pores. If your physician prescribes Azelex for your skin, you'll probably be instructed to apply it twice every day.
You shouldn't use Azelex if your skin is sunburned, windburned, chapped or otherwise irritated, since the medication can irritate it more. Common side effects of Azelex include burning, warm feelings, stinging, itching and peeling. If these bother you excessively, you should talk to your physician about cutting back use of Azelex to once per day.
Medical research backs the use of azelaic acid-containing topical medications in both common acne and acne rosacea. In one study, performed at a medical school in Iran, use of azelaic acid gel decreased acne lesions by 60 percent over 45 days. In another study, this one conducted at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston on acne rosacea patients, researchers reported an 80 percent reduction in lesions.
In some cases, Azelex can cause a change in your skin color, according to Drugs.com. If this happens, contact your doctor. You should avoid getting the medication in your eyes, nose or mouth, since this can cause excessive irritation. If you do get some in one of these places, rinse it well with water. In addition, Azelex can take up to four weeks to work, so you should keep applying it as directed in the meantime.
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