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Azelaic acid is a saturated dicarboxylic acid found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. It is a natural substance that is produced by Malassezia furfur (also known as Pityrosporum ovale), a yeast that lives on normal skin. It is effective against a number of skin conditions, such as mild to moderate acne, when applied topically in a cream formulation of 20%. Azelaic acid may be useful as a hair growth stimulant.
Additional recommended knowledge
Azelaic acid is:
Azelaic acid does not result in:
Because 20% azelaic acid can be a skin irritant, it should be used only when prescribed by a physician.
Uses of azelaic acid
Azelaic acid is used to treat mild to moderate acne, i.e. both comedonal acne and inflammatory acne. It works in part by stopping the growth of skin bacteria that cause acne, and by keeping skin pores clear.  It is also used as a topical treatment for Rosacea, due to its ability to reduce inflamation.
Azelaic acid may be useful as a hair growth stimulant. A research report by Stamatiadis in 1988 suggested that azelaic acid (and combinations of it, with zinc ion and vitamin B6) was a strong type I 5-alpha reductase (5-AR) inhibitor. The enzyme, 5-AR (both Types I and II) convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has been shown to contribute to prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) and to damage hair follicles. However, no clinical studies have confirmed its efficancy in helping with hair loss.
Notes and references
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Azelaic_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|