Azelaic Acid in Dermatology


eMediNexus    27 January 2023

Azelaic acid is widely used in dermatology. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties explain its efficacy in papulopustular rosacea and acne vulgaris, amongst other cutaneous conditions. The present study conducted a literature review on using azelaic acid in dermatology. It evaluated the level of evidence and listed the studies using the Oxford Center of Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 guidance.


This review found:


  • Strong evidence supports the use of azelaic acid in rosacea, followed by its use off-label in melasma, followed by acne vulgaris.
  • Weak evidence supports using azelaic acid in several other conditions, such as hidradenitis suppurativa, keratosis pilaris and male androgenic alopecia.


Thus azelaic acid, either as a monotherapy or in combination, could serve as an effective first-line or alternative treatment, which is well-tolerated and safe for a range of dermatological conditions.


Source: Searle T, Ali FR, Al-Niaimi F. The versatility of azelaic acid in dermatology. J Dermatolog Treat. 2022;33(2):722-32. 

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