Azelaic Acid: Evidence-based Update on Mechanism of Action and Clinical Application

J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Sep;14(9):964-8.


Azelaic acid is a complex molecule with many diverse activities. The latter include anti-infective and anti-inflammatory action. The agent also inhibits follicular keratinization and epidermal melanogenesis. Due to the wide variety of biological activities, azelaic acid has been utilized as a management tool in a broad spectrum of disease states and cutaneous disorders. This paper reviews the clinical utility of azelaic acid, noting the quality of the evidence supporting each potential use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Alopecia Areata / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Perioral / drug therapy
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / pharmacology
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Facial Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hutchinson's Melanotic Freckle / drug therapy*
  • Melanosis / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Rosacea / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • azelaic acid