Categorized | Rosacea

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Nature’s Magic Bullet For Acne and Rosaeca

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an 100% natural ingredient that did the work multiple skincare products all rolled into one, and, was all natural, and proven clinically to deliver what was promised? Well there is, and its name is azelaic acid. Nevertheless, what is this natural acid and what does it do that is so amazing. It is a saturated dicarboxylic acid extracted from grains like wheat, rye and barley with the molecular formula C9H16O4. It is also found on the skin being produced by a yeast called Pitysporum ovale. What is amazing about this acid is its ability to act upon a number of skin health related problems, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and adult acne.

One of the signs of skin aging is the appearance of brown spots or hyperpigmentation. This over production of pigment results from the skins repeated exposure to the damaging effects of the suns UV radiation and in particular the suns’ UVA rays. These “age spots” may also be worsened by the daily exposure of the skin to environmental pollutants and contaminants. Due to the constant exposure to these irritants, the skin reacts by producing increased amounts of the skin pigment melanin. The result of this increased melanin production is the formation of brown spots and freckles called lentigines. Azelaic acid is also effective for melasma or “the mask of pregnancy” due to hormonal changes that occur during gestation.

It lightens these dark spots resulting from the over-production of melanin by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase necessary for the conversion of tyrosine into melanin the pigment responsible for these spots. Studies have shown this natural substance’s ability to lighten these spots is approximately the same as that of hydroquinone, around sixty percent. The advantage of it over that of hydroquinone is that it can be used for long periods of time where hydroquinone should not be used for more than three months, it has virtually no side effects, it has not been shown to be carcinogenic in animal models, and it is available without prescription. One of the disadvantages of azelaic acid is that it may take slightly longer to lighten brown spots, and it is very sensitive to oxidation on exposure to the air. The creams and gels that are in bulk jars, tubes, or pump bottles are easily exposed to the air. This repeated exposure to the air causes the its natural ingredients to oxidize and lose its effectiveness. It is very important that consumers look for azelaic acid in sealed unit dose packaging to insure maximum potency with each use.

Another property of is its effectiveness in treating both comedogenic and inflammatory acne. Acne is caused by the bacteria Proprionbacillus acnes. These bacteria cause an inflammatory response by the skin that results in increased production of the sebum that plugs the pores trapping both the proprionbacillus as well as staphylococcus epidermidis. These trapped bacteria are responsible for the inflammation and comedones seen with acne. Azelaic acid is effective against acne because it works on many levels when in comparison to other acne products. It is bactericidal for the acne bacteria by exhibiting an anti-DNA action at the level of the bacterial nucleus. By reducing the bacteria you reduce the inflammation and sebum production giving the skin a chance to heal.

Another serious problem that is frequently seen with acne, especially in dark skinned individuals is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Any condition that causes skin irritation, whether it is environmental or bacterial can result in hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is not only effective in reducing the inflammation by killing the bacteria responsible for acne, but as mentioned above, it is effective in reducing the hyperpigmentation associated with acne through its anti-tyrosinase activity.

This natural acid is also an antioxidant scavenger for free-radicals and does not cause photosensitivity. This makes it an ideal product that can be safely used every day.

Rosacea is a condition characterized by facial redness, pimples and pustules. It can occur at any age but is most common in the 30-50 year old age group. This condition affects mainly Caucasian males and females of NW European decent. There are four sub-types of rosacea:

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea typified by a permanent redness of the skin that easily blushes and flushes.

Papulopustular rosacea is characterized by redness with pus filled bumps that can easily be confused with acne.

Phymatous rosacea characterized by redness and skin irregularities and nodules that can affect various parts of the face like the nose (Rhinophyma), chin (Gnatophyma), forehead (Metophyma), cheeks and eyelids (Blepharophyma), and ears (Otophyma).

Ocular rosacea associated with red, dry, irritated eyes and eyelids that itch, burn and give the sense of a foreign body being in the eyes.

Azelaic acid is an effective treatment for rosacea, especially the erythematotelangiectatic and papulopustular types of rosacea.

There is an increasing body of evidence that shows azelaic acid to be useful in treating certain pre-malignant lesions of the skin. Several human clinical trials have shown azelaic acid to be effective in treating lentigo maligno and there are a few reports for its successful use in treating isolated low grade isolated lesions of malignant melanoma.

Once in a while there exists a cosmetic ingredient that is safe, natural, and treats multiple problems at the same time. Azelaic acid is just such a product and is indeed nature’s magic bullet.

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