Is 14% Azelaic Acid Cream the Most Effective Potency?

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Azelaic acid cream is gaining traction as an acne treatment in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations. That has led some people to wonder what the most effective dose is. While that changes from one person to another, many people find 14% concentration is the perfect balance of effective and accessible. There are other options, but there are good reasons to start with a 14% cream.


Significance of 14% Concentration

Prescription strength formulas start at 15% azelaic acid content and usually go up to 25%, which is why 14% is a significant concentration for an over-the-counter formula. It is as close to prescription strength as you can get without a prescription, and the difference between the lowest level prescription formula and azelaic acid 14 percent OTC creams is very small because the actual difference in concentration is quite small.

So what does that really mean? It means that if you use 14% cream and find it gives you only partial results, you have a good case for going straight to something like an 18% or 20% prescription cream when you talk to a dermatologist.


Comparisons With Lower Concentrations

Studies have shown azelaic acid to be effective at concentrations as low as 5%, with many people finding relief for moderate symptoms in the 10-15% range. While higher concentrations are needed for many severe cases of acne, concentrations at or below 14% fully treated redness that was not associated with acne and many cases of moderate acne. Below 10%, effectiveness does fall off when azelaic acid is used on its own.

Niacinamide is another compound that helps treat acne and reduce redness, and many of the most effective low-concentration azelaic acid formulas are actually multi-component creams that combine the two. Since niacinamide encourages keratin growth, it does have more limits on its acne-fighting qualities than azelaic acid, but its keratin-building properties make it effective in serum for hair growth.

Azelaic acid creams that have no other active ingredients have a low incidence of side effects because it is a natural organic acid that your skin is already primed to interact with. At concentrations up to 14%, the risk of even mild side effects is quite small, which is why it is an approved concentration for over-the-counter formulas.


How Azelaic Acid Works

Azelaic acid is known as a redness reducer for multiple kinds of skin discoloration, so it can be used for any condition that causes discoloration, not just acne. The reason it is effective as an acne cream is because it not only reduces redness, it helps to keep pores unclogged and open while encouraging a healthy balance of skin oils. That and the fact that it is a naturally occuring organic acid from a group of them that are known to interact easily with human skin, and you have an effective low-risk treatment for acne.


Finding the Right Azelaic Acid Cream

There are a few different manufacturers that make over-the-counter creams, but not all of them have great options for other hair and skincare needs. Check out the companies you already trust for effective hair growth supplements for men and other skincare products to find a creamt that works for you today.


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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