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Azelaic acid reduces truncal acne

Despite the high frequency with which truncal acne accompanies facial acne, patients with truncal acne have fewer effective topical treatments. An investigator-initiated pilot study shows that azelaic acid (AzA) 15 percent foam could provide an appropriate off-label option.1

Azelaic acid foam 15 percent is FDA-approved for rosacea. “On the other hand, azelaic acid 15 percent gel is approved for both rosacea and acne in Europe. And azelaic acid 20 percent cream is approved in the United States for acne,” said Leon H. Kircik, M.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

Because there is a foam formulation of azelaic acid, said Dr. Kircik, “I thought it would be prudent to see if it works for acne on the chest and back because foam is good for large body surface areas.”

The difficulty of covering large areas with previous topical vehicles generally left clinicians treating truncal acne to rely on oral therapies because they are assumed to provide greater efficacy, he said.

“While this line of reasoning may hold up with the use of standard creams and gels, it is challenged with the advent of foam formulations,” Dr. Kircik and colleagues wrote in a June 2017 issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Acne experts believe that the rapid dispersal and enhanced percutaneous absorption of the new azelaic acid foam formulation versus other vehicle types will improve its pharmacological activity.2

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About Dr. J. Kim

Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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