Is Azelaic Acid an Effective Cure for Melasma?

i been using azelaic acid with retinoic acid , i just experimented on it because i read it over the internet, Can retinoic acid and azelaic acid go together?

Doctor Answers 4

Azelaic acid helpful if retinoids not tolerated

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For my patients with more sensitive or rosacea prone skin I generally recommend Azelaic acid in addition to hydroquinone and IPL therapy (depending on skin type).  The lightening effect with azelaic acid is more subtle than with the more aggressive therapies but if the patient is diligent in the use and very patient I think improvement can be made.  It is important to note that improvement with any melasma regimen may take 3-6 months and that unless sunlight and extra hormones (estrogen medications) are avoided it can be much harder and frustrating to treat. 

Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon

Azelaic Acid helps melasma

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 Azelaic acid has both anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to inhibit one of the steps in the production of melanin pigment in the skin.  Although it is not my first choice for treating melasma, it certainly can help.  It will work more effectively with retinoic acid (tretinoin) as you mentioned.  Hope this helps. 

Elizabeth Piantanida, MD
Colorado Springs Dermatologic Surgeon

Melarase and Melapeel for melasma

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Azelaic acid is one component in melasma treatment. I recommend Melarase creams for my patients, followed by once monthly MelaPeel facial peels for my melasma patients. 

Azeleic acid as a trestment for melasma

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Azeleic acid may help control but not cure melasma. There is no real cure for melasma at the moment-- just management. Azeleic acid has a skin brightening affect that may help fade dark marks but it is not generally the first line treatment--hydroquinone, when available, is.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.