Can Azelaic acid cause hyperpigmentation?

As a dermatologist or a pharmaceutical buyer, you might be wondering whether azelaic acid can cause hyperpigmentation. There have been concerns about this topic for some time, and it is important to address them. In this article, we will discuss what hyperpigmentation is, the use of azelaic acid in treating skin issues, and whether it has any connection to hyperpigmentation. We hope to provide you with the necessary information to understand this topic comprehensively.

What is hyperpigmentation? #

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition characterized by dark spots or patches on the skin. It occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin, which is the pigment responsible for giving the skin color. The causes of hyperpigmentation include exposure to UV rays, hormones, and skin injuries.

Azelaic acid #

Now, let’s move on to the use of azelaic acid to treat skin issues. Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in grains like barley and wheat. It is commonly used in dermatology to treat acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. It works by reducing the production of melanin and by exfoliating the skin’s top layer. Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to be safe for use in most skin types.

However, some studies have suggested that azelaic acid may cause hyperpigmentation, especially in people with darker skin tones. This might be due to the irritation that can occur if the acid is not used properly, leading to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH occurs when the skin reacts to injury, inflammation, or trauma that leads to dark pigmented spots.

Despite these concerns, the risk of azelaic acid-induced hyperpigmentation is relatively low. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there have been very few cases of azelaic acid causing hyperpigmentation, with most of them being linked to improper use of the acid.

It is important to note that hyperpigmentation is not a common side effect of using azelaic acid, if used correctly. The risk can be minimized by following the instructions provided by the dermatologist or pharmacist, avoiding the use of other skin care products that can cause irritation, and by using sunscreen daily to protect the skin.

In conclusion #

Azelaic acid can be an effective treatment for acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation, among other skin conditions. Although it has been suggested that azelaic acid may cause hyperpigmentation, the risk is relatively low if used correctly. As a pharmaceutical buyer or a dermatologist, it is important to advise your clients or patients on the correct use of azelaic acid. By doing so, you can help reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation and ensure that they receive the best possible treatment for their skin concerns.

Updated on 6 september 2023

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