There are many different products on the market to treat skin problems such as acne. All have their advantages and disadvantages. We would like to explain them to you.
Medications for acne include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, α nicotinamide (vitamin B3) and keratolytic preparations. Especially benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are under scrutiny; the FDA recommends a careful approach using these products. The use of topically or orally applied antibiotics is frequently identified as “healing is worse than the disease”. The same can be said from the oral use of retinoids, that eventually may lead to birth defects.
The table below shows the different products and their side effects.
As can be seen from the table these side effects are absent with when using azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is believed to function on the basis of its antimicrobial activity and normalization of keratinization (the process by which epithelial cells mature as they move towards the skin surface and then desquamated). The limitation for the use of azelaic acid is its solubility; nonetheless significant progress has been made by improving the solubility characteristics. The European Union considers azelaic acid as a cosmetic ingredient that can be applied without concentration restrictions. In the USA azelaic acid is FDA approved for the treatment of acne (and rosacea). A variety of commercial products containing 10-25% azelaic acid are available. The effect of the topical acne treatment using azelaic acid on the transmembrane pH gradient of Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis was studied in vitro at external pH values found on human skin (pH 4.0-6.0).
The results indicate that the antibacterial activity of azelaic acid is associated with the perturbation of intracellular pH of the organisms. The use of azelaic acid as anti-acne ingredient is highly favourable compared to the traditional anti-acne ingredients, as the side effects are minimal and can easily be controlled by adjustment of the concentration azelaic acid in the cream or gel.
Would you like to receive more information about azelaic acid? Please feel free to contact us.