Does Azelaic Acid Help Perioral Dermatitis?

PUBLISHED ON 2023/11/16 at 8:14 PM

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Azelaic Acid For Perioral Dermatitis

It can be frustrating to deal with the red patches and itchiness of Perioral Dermatitis (PD). And to make things worse, getting the wrong facial product can lead to an outbreak. 

But rumor has it Azelaic Acid can actually help you manage your PD without nasty outbreaks. To help you with this, we’ve done extensive research and collected information from dermatologists about Azelaic Acid (referred to as AA).

We have three years of experience in the field of skin diseases and conditions. Our dermatologists and experts who have command in this field have helped us to compile all this information for you. Stay with us to explore the wonders.

In this blog post, we delve into the world of PD treatment, exploring the role of Azelaic Acid, backed by studies and expert insights.

What Is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis PD (often referred to  Periorifical dermatits) is a facial skin condition characterized by red, inflamed papules (small bumps) that typically appear around your mouth, nose, and sometimes the eyes. The rash can be itchy or painful and may resemble acne or rosacea.

PD primarily affects women and children, although it can occur in individuals of any age and gender.

What is Azelaic Acid? Does It Help?

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in grains like barley and wheat. It has gained attention for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Recent studies and clinical observations suggest its effectiveness in managing inflammatory skin conditions. And Yes! It surely helps to treat PD, making it a focal point of interest for dermatologists and researchers alike.

Now, let’s understand periorificial dermatitis first, and then we will tell you how AA helps in treating PD.

What Are the Causes of Perioral Dermatitis?

The exact cause of periorificial dermatitis is not known, but it may be triggered by various factors, such as:

  • Using topical steroids, such as creams, ointments, or inhalers 
  • Using harsh chemicals, such as cleansers, soaps, makeup, or toothpaste
  • Having a bacterial or fungal infection
  • Having a hormonal imbalance, such as during pregnancy or menstruation
  • Having a history of atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, or rosacea
  • Having a weak immune system
  • Being exposed to sunlight, heat, wind, or cold
testing insight:

I truly loved the way Azelaic Acid helped me dealing with my Perioral Dermatits.”

Which Factors Can Trigger Your Perioral Dermatitis?

When dealing with PD, you should be aware of the factors that can actually make your situation worse. Le us tell you concisely about some major factors that can have adverse effects on your skin:

  • Using Harsh Skincare Products: Use of abrasive cleansers, toners, or scrubs.
  • Using Topical Steroid Creams: Prolonged use of potent topical antibiotics.
  • Having Fluoridated Toothpaste: Toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Makeup and Cosmetics: Certain makeup products or unclean makeup brushes.
  • Skin Irritation: Excessive rubbing or scratching the affected area.
  • Moisturizers and Heavy Creams: Some moisturizers with irritating ingredients.
  • Eating Spicy Foods: Consumption of spicy or hot foods.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormonal levels, especially in women.
  • Being Stressed: Emotional stress or changes in mental health can trigger flare-ups.
  • Weather Conditions: Exposure to extreme weather like wind or cold air.
  • Your History of Skin Conditions: Previous or family history of skin problems like eczema or rosacea.
  • Doing Dental Procedures: Certain dental treatments or exposure to dental materials.

What Treatments and Natural Remedies You Can Try If You Have PD?

  • Topical Medications.
  • Oral Antibiotics
  • Topical Steroid Withdrawal
  • Avoid Triggers

Natural Remedies You Can Try:

  • Azelaic Acid
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Calendula Cream
  • Healthy Diet
  • Probiotics
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Stay Hydrated
  • Coconut Oil
  • Manuka Honey
  • Tea Tree Oil

How AA Works?

AA works on various skin issues, including periorificial dermatitis, through its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and comedolytic (preventing the formation of comedones or clogged pores) properties. Specifically targeting perioral dermatitis, here’s how AA functions for you:

Anti-Inflammatory Action:

AA reduces inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory chemicals. It calms the redness and discomfort in PD.

Antimicrobial Properties:

It prevents bacterial growth, including the bacteria associated with PD. In this way it controls infections and lesion severity on your skin.

Normalizing Keratinization:

AA regulates skin cell formation, preventing the initial stage of lesions and new papule development in PD.

Reduction of Hyperpigmentation:

By inhibiting melanin production, it lightens dark spots caused by perioral dermatitis. It promotes an even skin tone.

Modulation of Inflammatory Factors:

AA regulates the immune response, controlling inflammation and reducing symptoms in perioral dermatitis.

By combining these actions, AA specifically targets the factors contributing to perioral dermatitis. This makes it a valuable component in the management of this skin condition.

However, it’s crucial to use azelaic acid as directed by a healthcare professional to ensure its effectiveness and safety for individual skin types.

How to Use Azelaic Acid for Perioral Dermatitis?

Using azelaic acid for PD requires careful application to ensure its effectiveness without causing further irritation. Here’s how to use it:

Consult a Dermatologist:

Seek guidance from a dermatologist who can prescribe the appropriate azelaic acid formulation and dosage based on your skin type and the severity of periorificial dermatitis.

Do A Patch Test:

Before applying AA to the affected area you should  conduct a patch test on a small, inconspicuous part of your skin to check for any adverse reactions.

Cleanse Your Skin:

Gently cleanse the affected area with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Don’t use harsh or irritating products that could worsen the condition.

Apply a pea-sized Amount:

Take a small amount of the prescribed azelaic acid cream or gel and apply it evenly to the affected skin. Avoid applying near the eyes, mouth, or open wounds.

Use Sunscreen:

Azelaic acid can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 during the day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Avoid Harsh Products:

Steer clear of abrasive scrubs, toners, or products containing alcohol while using azelaic acid. These products can exacerbate irritation.

Be Patient and Consistent:

It may take several weeks to notice improvement. Follow the prescribed treatment plan consistently and do not discontinue use without consulting your dermatologist.


If your skin feels dry or irritated, use a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores.

Limit Other Active Ingredients:

While using azelaic acid, avoid using other active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids unless specifically recommended by your dermatologist.

Follow Up with Your Dermatologist:

Keep regular follow-up appointments with your dermatologist to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Remember, individual responses to azelaic acid may vary. It is essential to use the product as directed by your healthcare professional to achieve the best results and minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What Do Experts and Dermatologists Say About Azelaic Acid for PD?

Studies like those conducted by Jansen T. and other experts have shed light on Azelaic Acid’s potential. Clinical studies explore AA efficacy in treating inflammatory lesions, offering hope for those struggling with perioral dermatitis.

Expert dermatologists emphasize the importance of individualized treatment plans and the necessity of patch testing before incorporating Azelaic Acid into a skincare routine.

Solving Treatment Challenges: What Are The Factors and Considerations?

Understanding the causative factors behind perioral dermatitis, including hormonal imbalances, sensitive skin, or irritant contact dermatitis, is crucial.

Dermatologists stress the significance of patch testing, especially for individuals with a history of allergic reactions. Additionally, attention to triggers like spicy foods, fluoridated toothpaste, or certain skincare products becomes essential in managing perioral dermatitis effectively.

Expert Quotes and Insights:

Dr. Emily Turner, Board-Certified Dermatologist: “Azelaic Acid’s multifaceted benefits make it an excellent choice for perioral dermatitis. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe irritated skin, while its antimicrobial action helps combat the underlying causes. Many of my patients have seen significant improvement with tailored AA treatments.”

Sarah Martinez, Skincare Specialist: “AA is a game-changer for PD. It not only treats active lesions but also prevents new ones from forming. I often recommend it for its gentle yet powerful approach, especially for individuals with sensitive skin.”

/ Final Verdict

In the pursuit of PD relief, Azelaic Acid emerges as a beacon of hope. It offers a gentle, effective, and scientifically-backed treatment option.

With attention to triggers, expert consultation, and cautious use, individuals can make informed choices for their skin health. As the research on AA continues to unfold, it opens new doors for those seeking long-lasting relief from the challenges of periorificial dermatitis. Remember, knowledge and careful consideration pave the way for healthier, happier skin.

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