Affecting around 10% of Americans today, rosacea is a common skin disease marked by redness, flushing, and small red pimples and bumps on the face. Though researchers have characterized rosacea as a disease marked by inflammation, the exact cause of the disease is still under research.
Currently, there are several medications designed to treat rosacea, a popular one being azelaic acid, which is a type of medication that decreases inflammation in the skin. Azelaic acid has been widely studied in clinical trials, and the investigators in this study wanted to assess how this medication works on the typical rosacea patient they would see in the clinic (rather than those that are carefully selected for a clinical trial). Therefore, researchers investigated the effectiveness of this rosacea treatment in a real-world setting.
In their study, the researchers selected 20 patients with mild-to-moderate rosacea. These patients applied an azelaic acid gel, with 15% of the gel being azelaic acid itself, for twelve weeks on their face. The researchers monitored the patients’ skin conditions throughout the twelve weeks as well as a month following the treatment period. From these observations, the researchers found a significant improvement in redness and red bumps after using the azelaic acid gel. Furthermore, even after the patients stopped their treatment, their rosacea remained improved.
A month following the treatment period, the majority of the patients had almost clear skin or mild rosacea. Only small side effects were noted, including mild stinging and itching.
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Wirth PJ, Henderson Berg MH, Sadick N. Real-World Efficacy of Azelaic Acid 15% Gel for the Reduction of Inflammatory Lesions of Rosacea. Skin Therapy Lett.2017;22(6):5-7; PMID: 29091380 Link to research.