Generic name: Azelaic acid.

Azelex is an antiacne and hypopigmentation agent. It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect that helps prevent the development of new acne lesions (whiteheads). It also helps in skin renewal. 

Quick Facts About Azelex


Used to treat mild to moderate acne vulgaris, which usually develops during puberty. Also used to treat melasma (chloasma), a skin condition in which brownish patches of pigmentation appear on the face.

Azelex Dosage

Wash affected skin area and pat dry. Apply a thin film of cream and rub it in thoroughly but gently to avoid irritation. Wash hands after applying. Use exactly as prescribed. Using cream in greater amounts or more frequently won’t improve results and may cause excessive skin irritation.

  • Usual adult dose: a thin film of Azelex twice per day (morning and evening).
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Azelex Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

none reported. However, if you suspect an overdose or skin becomes extremely irritated, stop applying medication and immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: burning, itching, stinging, tingling.

Less common Azelex side effects: dryness, inflammation, irritation, peeling, rash, redness. Rare side effect: lightening of skin or white spots in persons with darker complexions.


Inform your doctor before combining Azelex with other topical medications.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform f your doctor immediately. Small amount appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Not generally prescribed for seniors.

Not prescribed for children under 12 years.

  • May cause some itching, burning, or stinging initially, which should stop as treatment continues. If these side effects continue for more than 4 weeks, consult with your doctor about reducing the dosage to once per day or temporarily stopping treatment.
  • Inform your doctor of any abnormal change in skin color.
  • May use water-based cosmetics while undergoing treatment.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Azelex side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.