Azelaic Acid and Rosacea

Research Spotlight: Real-World Efficacy of Azelaic Acid 15% Gel for the Reduction of Inflammatory Lesions of Rosacea.

Why Does This Matter?

  • Many people use azelaic acid to treat their rosacea, but this treatment’s effectiveness is rarely tested by researchers in a real world context

Affecting around 10% of Americans today, rosacea is a common skin disease marked by redness, flushing, and small red pimples and bumps on the face.[1] Though researchers have characterized rosacea as a disease marked by inflammation, the exact cause of the disease is still under research.

Testing Azelaic Acid’s Treatment of Rosacea

Currently, there are several rosacea treatments, a popular one being azelaic acid, a type of medication that decreases the swelling of the skin. Azelaic acid has been widely studied in clinical trials, and the investigators in this study wanted to assess how this treatment for rosacea works on the typical rosacea patient that they would see in the clinic (rather than those carefully selected for a clinical trial). Therefore, researchers investigated the effectiveness of this rosacea treatment in a real-world setting.

In their study, the researchers selected 20 patients with mild-to-moderate rosacea. These patients applied an azelaic acid gel, 15% of the gel being azelaic acid itself, for twelve weeks on their face. The researchers monitored the patients’ skin conditions throughout the twelve weeks as well as a month following the treatment period. From these observations, the researchers found a significant improvement in the redness and the red bumps after using the azelaic acid gel. Furthermore, even after the patients stopped their treatment, their rosacea remained improved.

The Results

A month following the treatment period, the majority of the patients had almost clear skin or mild rosacea, and only small side effects were noted, including mild stinging and itching.

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  1. Moustafa F, Hopkinson D, Huang KE, et al. Prevalence of rosacea in community settings. J Cutan Med Surg.2015;19(2):149-152; PMID: 25775639 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25775639.