If you read our previous post on lightening/brightening agents you may remember azelaic acid mentioned.
Although effective for a number of skin conditions, azelaic acid (AA) has become increasingly utilised in the treatment of melasma.
AA is a nonphenolic dicarboxylic acid that acts to prevent the formation of melasma by competitively inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that converts melanin (or skin pigment). AA also inhibits cellular DNA synthesis and enzymes which prevents the proliferation of abnormal melanocytes (or pigment producing cells). Unfortunately it has no effect skin that is normally pigmented.
The safety profile of AA is good though like many topical acids, it rarely causes redness and stinging. Because of its safety, it is a good alternative for patients that cannot tolerate hydroquinone (a traditional whitening agent). In fact when compared to 4% hydroquinone, 20% AA has been found to be similarly effective at reducing the appearance of pigmentation caused by melasma. For more information on melasma management and the role of AA give Dr Davin Lim a follow @101.skin
For all our melasma sufferers out there, watch this space as we endeavour to bring you access to high-strength AA 😉
In the meantime check out our AA containing products here or book a skin consultation with an Aescend artisan below.