Azelaic acid (On the skin)
Azelaic Acid (ay-ze-LAY-ik AS-id)
Treats rosacea (on-going skin redness with pimples) and severe acne.
Finacea, Azelex, Finacea Plus
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to azelaic acid or propylene glycol.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Call your doctor if you get the medicine in your eyes and you have eye pain, itching, burning, or redness that does not go away.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Before using this medicine, wash the affected skin areas with mild soap or a soapless cleansing lotion. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
- Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
- Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.
- If you are using this medicine to treat rosacea, you might need to avoid eating spicy foods and drinking alcohol or hot drinks (such as hot coffee or tea). Talk with your doctor to see if it might help to make changes to your diet.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine tube and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas, unless your doctor has told you it is okay. If you do apply cosmetics to your skin, wait until this medicine is dry before applying them.
- Avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol. Products that contain alcohol may say "astringent," "tincture," or "oil-controlling" on their labels. Also avoid skin care products that peel off (such as masks) or products that are abrasive. Labels on abrasive products may read "exfoliating."
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Increased skin redness
- Severe skin rash, swelling, itching, burning, peeling, or stinging
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild skin burning, stinging, tingling, dryness, or itching
- Skin color gets lighter in areas where medicine was applied
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013