Finacea is good for Acne and Hyper Pigmentation as well

This poster session is seeking to expand the appeal of Finacea (which contains Azelaic acid 15%) beyond rosacea. The result is that the authors are suggesting that finacea is also possibly good for acne vulgaris and hyperpigmentation as well as rosacea. If you are interested in reading more about rosacea, and its applicability to rosacea, see my previous article focus on finacea.

P433 Implications of azelaic acid’s multiple mechanisms of action: Therapeutic versatility, Zoe Draelos, MD, Allan Kayne, MD, Intendis, Inc.,


Poster Abstracts, American Academy of Dermatology 66th Annual Meeting, February 1–5, 2008, San Antonio, Texas. Supplement to the JAAD, Feb 2008, Volume 58, Number 2.

Introduction: Topical azelaic acid (AzA) 15% gel is approved in the United States for the treatment of mild to moderate papulopustular rosacea and shows efficacy against erythema in the presence of inflammatory lesions. However, the multiple mechanisms of action of AzA make it a candidate for use in other dermatoses.

Objective: To understand the benefits of the various mechanisms of action of AzA in dermatologic disorders other than rosacea. AzA demonstrates both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on rosacea. [1] Patients with rosacea have defects in stratum corneum (SC) barrier function. [2] In a previous study, 40 women using AzA had no increase in transepidermal water loss from the SC versus controls. [3] Data from a recent in vitro study has demonstrated bacteriostatic effects of AzA on P acnes. [4] AzA is also a competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase [5] and has cytotoxic effects on hyperactive melanocytes. [6] The antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antikeratinizing, and bacteriostatic properties of AzA make it an excellent therapeutic option in acne vulgaris. [5,6] By inhibiting tyrosinase, AzA interferes with the production of excessive melanin and also has direct cytotoxic effects on the hyperactive melanocytes seen in people with hyperpigmentation disorders. [5,6]

The multiple mechanisms of action of AzA suggest it has utility in dermatologic conditions beyond rosacea.


1. Akamatsu H, Komura J, Asada Y, et al. Inhibitory effect of azelaic acid on neutrophil functions: a possible cause for its efficacy in treating pathogenetically unrelated diseases. Arch Dermatol Res 1991;283:162-6.
2. Dirschka T, Tronnier H, Fo¨lster-Holst R. Epithelial barrier function and atopic diathesis in rosacea and perioral dermatitis. Br J Dermatol 2004;150:1136-41.
3. Draelos ZD. Noxious sensory perceptions in patients with mild to moderate rosacea treated with azelaic acid 15% gel. Cutis 2004;74:257-60.
4. Data on file, Intendis, Inc.
5. Fitton A, Goa KL. Azelaic acid: a review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyperpigmentary skin disorders. Drugs 1991;41:780-98.
6. Nguyen QH, Bui TP. Azelaic acid: pharmacologic and pharmacodynamic properties and its therapeutic role in hyperpigmentary disorders and acne. Int J Dermatol 1995;34:75-84. 100% is sponsored by Intendis, Inc.

Highlighted Products

Related Articles

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

Follow Rosacea Support

Subscribe via RSS Feed

22 Reader Comments

  1. Heidi says:

    My dermatologist just put me on Finacea 15% gel for my acne a week ago. He told me that it will take 4 to 8 weeks until I see results and 12 weeks until the medicine reaches its peak. I have noticed improvement already. I have many allergies to many drugs, both oral and topical, which make my options for treatment very slim. I am happy to say that in only a week, Finacea has not shown me any problems. I have had zero side effects, which is unusual for me. It is very affordable and very easy to use. I hope to continue seeing results. I wanted to give others my experiences to this point, so that they may have some hope.

  2. Katherine says:

    My derm. rxd Finacea for my vulgaris acne…it was horrible and after 6 weeks I started noticing the difference…it works better if you leave your face a bit wet and then apply the product…it also toned my skin.

  3. AJ says:

    Finacea caused hair to grow on my face, and I am a female. It reduced a little redness. I do not have the bumps, but ladies BE CAREFUL! Dr.’s do not tell you that this could happen, and I found it in fine print after researching. I used it for about 6 months and noticed peach fuzz starting to come out where I was using it, which was my cheeks, nose and chin. This is not a good thing, as the hair remains even after I stopped using it! Not worth the small benefits I noticed.

  4. Samantha says:

    My doctor recommended this produce to treat my acne however I am hesitant to use it in fear of growing facial hair. I was told that this is a very rare reaction, but I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this side effect?

  5. SII says:

    I agree, it works better if you put it on immediately after drying face when face is still mosit as opposed to waiting for it to be completely dry.

  6. Fiona says:

    I have been using finacea twice a day for a year now.
    I have found no side effects.
    I tend to dry my face before i apply it which i prefer.

  7. Leeza says:

    I have been using Finacea for my acne for about a month now and my skin is so smooth and my acne is gone. If I do get a pimple, it only last a over night and it’s gone completely the next day. I use in every night and every morning. My face is allergic to everything but this is the only thing that hasn’t made me break out and worked for my skin. I use the Cetaphil Daily Cleanser and that works great for me too. I tried everything before and nothing worked. My dermatologist also put me on Minocen which I took for 4 weeks but then started to get an allergic reaction (rash all over my legs three weeks into the treatment) so I took it for another week thinking it would go away but it just got worse, I started getting welts. So I quit taking it, I loved how well it worked and I was afraid that if I stopped taking it, my acne would come back. It’s been a little over a week and I’m only using Finacea now and my skin is so smooth and looks so great, I love it.

  8. diamond says:

    I have bee using finacea 4 3 wks now and it has made a difference in evening out my skin tone but i do still get breakouts so i guess i will have to take oral antibiotics with the finacea my derm prescribed me doxycycline so hopefully this will work i will keep my fingers crossed!

  9. Tmarie says:

    I just got prescribed finacea. I am hoping that it helps with the mild acne and also helps get rid of the left over blemishes I suffered from previous acne.

  10. Keke says:

    I’ve been using finacea now for almost two weeks and I notice a difference in the acne but I have heard that it really works good for hyperpigment….i will keep ya posted

  11. Lea says:

    I’ve been using Finacea for about a month now to treat mild rosacea and can see fine hairs now on my face where there were none! No warning of this whatsoever from my doctor, and not anywhere that I could find on the package.

  12. MC says:

    my derm rx for rosacea i just started using it and he also said i could use it on legs for hyperpigmentation…. will keep you posted

  13. Christy says:

    My doc gave me finacea due to brown spots (hyperpigmentation) showing up under my eyes. I just started using it tonight. Please keep me posted those of you using this cream for the same reason. Also, does it cause dry or flaking skin like some other creams that are used to treat acne. I’d hate to have that happen under my eyes. Anyone else use it in the undereye area. I know the skin under the eyes is delicate so worried about applying it there. Thanks so much!

  14. Tina says:

    My derm prescribed me finacea for my acne about a week ago. I also had couple of bumby pimples on my face. I noticed that im getting more bumps on my cheek. Wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

  15. SM says:

    My daughter has been using Finacea for one year to treat acne. Our dermatologist said it’s the best out there. She uses it on her face, chest and shoulder. It’s okay but I don’t think it is the greatest. She continues to have break outs. We spoke with our dermatologist and he said then next step would be pills. UGH! I am so fed up with acne and Finacea!! She is getting ready for Prom in less than a month. In fact I believe she had less acne before she started Finacea. I don’t see why he can’t just prescribe another brand of cream.

  16. SM says:

    I just posted on this bulletin about my daughter. She had a few bumps, then it disappeared and bam! she is breaking out worse than before. She was the one that complained, Mom why is it when I treat the area , the acnes pops up in another area! If you find a solution, please share.

  17. Shana Steele says:

    I just have been given finacea. I am suppose to use it in the morning.. I already use Retin A, nightly and Minocycline 100 mg daily. I have been on the Retin A for about a month and the Minocycline for 5 mon now. I think I is helping but I just got a blood draw to see if I am producing to much testosterone. Which can cause a number of things.. But I have had acne since I was 12 and I am 28 now. I will keep posting on my progress

  18. Joseph says:

    I have been using finacea for 1 month and I have seen significant improvement. No side effects .

  19. ReRe says:

    Hi I’ve been using finacea for a month now, my derm px it for mild acne. I have not noticed any improvement. I have seen multiple breakouts on my cheeks and chin area that have never been there. It is really discouraging to me and am wondering if this will improve or should I discontinue using this product.

  20. Rach says:

    I have been using it for a month now nd my skin’s tone got even. Most of my pimples faded but there is still some left. But I’m afraid to get hair on my face like some others experienced

  21. Quedaa says:

    – i”ve been usinq this for aboutt 2 , 3 weeks , its made a difference
    i use to have dark baqs under my eyes cause i”ve bleached my
    skin my natural color is “Dark Skin” )( Black) VButt i bleached it with bio claire ,
    and thats been causing my face to break outt , but i seen my doc and he told
    mee to stop using it and use finacea soo now im using it and its already made
    a difference , its qood ! &nd to the people saying its not worth it , its just not
    worth it for you , people have different skin , and side effects , this is deff for me !

  22. Key Key says:

    I was just given Finaea with Doxycycline. The doctor says that I may experience some increased breakouts as the antibiotic is working. I don’t get lots of breakouts but have had acne for over 20 years and I’m ready for clear skin before my wedding. My skin is pretty smooth, just marks from old pimples and I get a few here and there every once in a while. I hope this works. I DO NOT want to go to Jamaica having to wear make up on the beach. I’ll be back to tell you how it went.

Leave your comment here




Discover more from Rosacea Support Group

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Subscribe to Rosacea News

Enter your email address to receive the latest news about rosacea in your inbox.