- What is azelaic acid gel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for azelaic acid gel?
- What are the side effects of azelaic acid gel?
- What is the dosage for azelaic acid gel?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with azelaic acid gel?
- Is azelaic acid gel safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about azelaic acid gel?
What is azelaic acid gel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Azelaic acid is a topical (applied to the skin) medication used for treating acne. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown. Azelaic acid may work as an antibacterial agent that blocks protein synthesis and therefore growth of Propionibacterium acnes and other bacteria on the surface of the skin that are associated with the development of acne. It may also inhibit follicular keratinization, which prevents development of acne lesions. The FDA approved azelaic acid in September 1995.
- References: FDA prescribing information
What brand names are available for azelaic acid gel?
Is azelaic acid gel available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for azelaic acid gel?
What are the side effects of azelaic acid gel?
- Common side effects include:
Other side effects include:
Other less common side effects include:
What is the dosage for azelaic acid gel?
A thin layer of azelaic acid should be applied and massaged into the affected areas of the face every 12 hours.
Which drugs or supplements interact with azelaic acid gel?
There are no drug interactions listed for this azelaic acid.
Is azelaic acid gel safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- The safety azelaic acid has not been evaluated. It is not known whether azelaic acid is excreted in human milk. However, laboratory experiments suggest that the small amount of azelaic acid that is absorbed into the body may be excreted in human milk at very low concentrations that may not be significant.
What else should I know about azelaic acid gel?
What preparations of azelaic acid gel are available?
Gel, Foam, Kit: 15%. Cream: 20%
How should I keep azelaic acid gel stored?
Store azelaic acid between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
IMAGESBrowse our medical image collection of bacterial skin conditions such as follicultis, scarlet fever, and more See Images
Azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex) is a prescription drug used to treat acne vulgaris and inflammatory papules and pustules caused by rosacea. Side effects include itching, irritation, dry skin, tingling, and stinging. Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases
Learn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold...
Rosacea Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Think acne and rosacea are the same? Think again. Take the Rosacea Quiz to learn all about this inflammatory skin condition.
Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!
Acne (Pimples) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the world. If you suffer from acne, you are not alone and many treatment options are...
Adult Acne (Pimples) Causes and Treatments
Acne (pimples) is a skin condition that blocks pores. Get answers on causes, solutions and treatments for this skin condition...
Picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic
Inflammatory nodules, cysts, and pustules (left). See a picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic and learn more about the health...
Picture of Acne
Exactly what causes acne? Acne develops when cells and natural oils begin to block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. See a...
Acne 101: Types, Best Treatments, Medication, Cystic Acne
What is the best treatment for acne vulgaris? Can food choices influence acne? How can you get rid of blackheads? Learn why it's...
Skin & Health: How Your Skin Reveals Health Problems
Skin problems are often the first signs of serious underlying health problems. Diabetes, lupus and lung cancer are illnesses that...
Skin Conditions Below the Waist: Rashes, Bumps, & Lumps
Wondering about an unusual bump, rash, or growth? Learn about common skin conditions below the belt, including genital herpes,...
Skin Health: 15 Tips for Clear Skin
Acne, pimples, zits and blemishes often appear on the face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders where skin has the most amount of...
How to Get Rid of Acne: Skin Care Tips
Want to know how to get rid of blackheads? Discover tips on clogged pores, sunscreen SPF and how to remove makeup for different...
Skin Care to Prevent Wrinkles, Aging Skin, and Dry Skin With Pictures
See how your life affects your skin. The choices you make every day affect the appearance of your skin. Learn how to avoid dry...
Acne Care Pictures: Skin Care Dos and Don'ts
Explore quick acne cover-ups, dos and don'ts. See solutions on how to best handle pesky pimples and remedies to avoid.
Related Disease Conditions
Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder in which small white or red bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. The cause of KP is unknown. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, and the condition may resolve on its own. Gentle exfoliation, professional manual extraction, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, along with topical products, are the best treatments for this condition.
Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This inflammation, depending on its location, can take the form of a superficial pustule (contains pus), a pimple, a deeper cyst, congested pores, whiteheads, or blackheads. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the acne.
Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness of the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. In addition to inflammation of the facial skin, symptoms include dilation of the blood vessels and pimples (acne rosacea) in the middle third of the face. Oral and topical antibiotics are treatments for rosacea. If left untreated, rhinophyma (a disfiguring nose condition) may result.
Melasma is a patchy brown discoloration of the skin on the face. When it occurs in pregnancy, it's called chloasma. Melasma is commonly treated with hydroquinone creams.
Cystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This formo of acne is known to scar. Treatment may incorporate the use of hormonal therapies, oral antibiotics, and prescription medications.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Latest Skin News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.