For patients with facial acne vulgaris, azelaic acid 15% foam is an effective and safe treatment, according to results published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Clinicians should consider that the convenience of the foam medication makes this a viable treatment option.

The study included participants with moderate to severe facial acne (n=20). All participants were treated with azelaic acid 15% foam for 16 weeks. The researchers determined efficacy based on the change in facial investigator global assessment and changes in total, inflammatory, and noninflammatory lesion counts between baseline and week 16.

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At week 16, there was a significant reduction in facial investigator global assessment scores (P =.0004), with 84% of participants having at least a 1-grade improvement and 63% of participants achieving a final grade of Clear or Almost Clear.

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By week 16, all participants experienced reductions in both inflammatory and total lesion counts, and 89% saw reductions in noninflammatory lesions.

The azelaic acid 15% foam was well tolerated. The most common adverse events were erythema, dryness, peeling, oiliness, pruritus, and burning, most of which were mild. Most adverse events resolved by week 16.

“Future research should expand upon this work in larger sample sizes and with vehicle control as well as active comparators,” the researchers wrote.


Hashim PW, Chen T, Harper JC, Kircik LH. The efficacy and safety of azelaic acid 15% foam in the treatment of facial acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(6):641-645.