Azelaic acid

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

1,7-heptanedicarboxylic acid; acelaic acid (e); CAS No:123-99-9; Nonanedioic acid

Definition
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A saturated dicarboxylic acid belonging to the keratolytics and produced by microorganisms. Naturally in rancid oil. Its salts and esters are called azelates. Azelaic acid has an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticomedogenic potency. Due to its good local tolerability, it enables a long-term therapy of acne.

Indication
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Standard concentration
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Apply 15-20% in creams, ointments or gels 2 times/day thinly to the affected areas.

Undesirable effects
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Azelaic acid can cause local skin irritation (especially at the beginning of treatment). Furthermore: hypopigmentation (especially in skin type III and IV), hypertrichosis, contact dermatitis, exacerbation of herpes labialis, phototoxic reactions.

Contraindication
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Use around the eyes, nose and lips.

Preparations
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Skinoren Cream®; Finacea Gel®

Literature
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  1. Gamble R et al (2012) Topical antimicrobial treatment of acne vulgaris: an evidence-based review. At J Clin Dermatol 13:141-152.
  2. Leccia MT et al.(2015) Topical acne treatments in Europe and the issue of antimicrobial resistance. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 29:1485-1492.
  3. Rademaker M (2016)Very low-dose isotretinoin in mild to moderate papulopustular rosacea; a retrospective review of 52 patients. Australas J Dermatol doi: 10.1111/ajd.12522.
  4. Schulte BC et al(2015) Azelaic Acid: Evidence-based Update on Mechanism of Action and Clinical Application. J Drugs Dermatol 14:964-968.
  5. Sieber MA et al (2014) Azelaic acid: Properties and mode of action. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 27 Suppl 1:9-17.
  6. Yin NC et al (2014) Acne in patients with skin of color: practical management. At J Clin Dermatol 15:7-16.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020