There are many skincare products available with confusing names, which may leave you asking questions such as, “What is niacinamide lotion used for?” “What does azelaic acid do?” and “Which skincare products can possibly benefit me?” The two named products can both benefit you in many ways. To learn more about the benefits of azelaic acid, read on.
Say Goodbye to Acne
Acne has many different contributing causes. Clogged pores can trap bacteria that can cause skin irritation that results in pimples. Hormonal changes can worsen acne, which is one reason that it often first appears during adolescence.
Azelaic acid helps to reduce acne in two ways. It interferes with the activity of the Propionibacterium which causes acne. It is bactericidal, meaning that it is effective at killing the bacteria, and bacteriostatic, meaning that any bacteria that happen to survive will not be able to reproduce themselves. The other way that azelaic acid cream helps with acne is by increasing cell turnover. Not only does this help keep the pores clear, but it also helps prevent acne scarring.
Azelaic acid is not necessarily the most effective acne treatment, but it is one of the most gentle. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to breakouts, and azelaic acid is safe to use during pregnancy while many stronger treatments are not.
Hyperpigmentation, i.e., darkening of the skin, can occur after an acne breakout. It can also occur due to conditions such as melasma. Melanin is the pigment that colors the skin; the more melanin that is present, the darker the skin will be. Hyperpigmentation when the skin synthesizes too much melanin in some areas of the skin and not in others. Azelaic acid inhibits the production of melanin, which in turn helps to lighten the areas of hyperpigmentation.
The strongest skin brighteners for hyperpigmentation can only be used for short periods of time, lest they have unwanted side effects. Azelaic acid can be used for up to six months in between courses of stronger skin brighteners to maintain the effects. In this way, it works as a foundation skincare against hyperpigmentation.
Rosacea is a condition that irritates the skin, causing redness and sometimes bumps on the face. Azelaic acid’s antibacterial properties help to treat rosacea, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the irritation and redness. At least one study showed that azelaic acid was actually more effective at treating rosacea than a more commonly used treatment called metronidazole. Another showed it to be more effective than the control when applied twice daily for 12 weeks at a 15% concentration.
Other Possible Uses
Research is still ongoing into the possible benefits of azelaic acid. Research suggests that it should have uses for treating the following conditions:
- Hidradenitis suppurativa
- Psoriasis vulgaris
- Keratosis pilaris
Skin products containing azelaic acid contain different concentrations. Talk to your dermatologist to find out whether azelaic acid may benefit you and what concentration you need, then shop online for skincare products containing it in the desired concentration.