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Skinoren (Azelaic acid)

Skinoren (Azelaic acid)

Skinoren is a cream made with the active ingredient azelaic acid. This substance is effective at addressing issues with acne because it helps to reduce the growth of surface skin cells made with keratin which may block the pores and increase the build up of bacteria. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

Skinoren cream is a form of acne treatment that can be applied directly to the skin. This topical medication addresses various forms of acne, including hormonal, mild, severe, and cystic acne, and it may also be used for the management of rosacea. Skinoren contains the ingredient Azelaic acid which is effective at killing the bacteria on your skin which may lead to spots.  

What is Skinoren? 

Skinoren is a cream made with the active ingredient azelaic acid. This substance is effective at addressing issues with acne because it helps to reduce the growth of surface skin cells made with keratin which may block the pores and increase the build up of bacteria. The substance can also unblock the sebaceous glands and pores to help reduce the formation of spots and blackheads.  

Skinoren kills the various forms of bacteria that are usually responsible for causing outbreaks of acne in its various forms. This is a common form of bacteria for many people which generally grows by feeding on the sebaceous gland excretions known as sebum. The Skinoren bacteria produces fatty acids and waste products that can irritate the glands and make them more inflamed.  

Skinoren works by reducing the food source that bacteria have access to, and thereby inhibiting its growth. By controlling the amount of bacteria on your skin, Skinoren can manage the inflammation of the sebaceous glands and offer greater control over spots. Skinoren may also lighten the skin because it interferes with the production of melanin, which is a substance that helps to give your skin it's natural pigment.  

When is Skinoren used? 

Skinoren is a common and effective treatment for various forms of acne - the issue that causes the development of spots and zits on the skin. A lot of the people who suffer most from acne are generally between the ages of 12 and 25 years, however many people of all ages can also be affected, depending on their lifestyle and skin type.  

Acne forms as a result of the sebaceous glands lying being the skin surface, which produce a natural oil called sebum. Although this substance is necessary to keep the skin smooth and supple, it can also act as a food source for certain sources of bacteria. When the bacteria grows on the skin, it blocks the pores, causing blackheads and pimples.  

Skinoren works by unblocking the plugged pores so that the sebum in your skin can escape naturally, reducing your risk of issues like red lines, spots, bumps, and more. In some cases, Skinoren will also be used for adults to treat rosacea - which is a condition which can affect various parts of the face, such as the cheeks, nose, and forehead. This condition frequently causes spots.  

How do you use Skinoren? 

When prescribed by your doctor, Skinoren will come with guidelines on how to use your cream so that you can get the best results. Generally, you will need to apply Skinoren to the affected parts of your skin only, on a twice daily basis. Typically, about 2.5 cm of cream should be enough to cover your entire face, and you will need to rub the substance into your skin carefully.  

If you have particularly sensitive skin, then your doctor may suggest starting with a dose of only one application per day in the evenings. This will help your skin to clear slightly before you upgrade to twice daily applications. When you are applying the cream, it's important to make sure that your hands and skin are clean. You will also need to clean your hands thoroughly after using Skinoren, and make sure that you don't get any of the substance into your eyes, mouth, or the inside of the nose.  

If you accidentally get the cream into these areas, you will need to rinse with large amounts of water. If you are concerned that your skin is growing more irritated with the application of Skinoren, then you may need to use a smaller amount, or only use this substance once a day until the irritation clears up. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your options.  

What dosages are available? 

Most people will need to apply the Skinoren cream at least twice each day, once on the evening and once on the morning. Before you apply your treatment, wash your skin carefully with soap and water and pat it dry gently with a towel. Apply the cream and rub it in gently. As you apply the cream to your skin, avoid any painful or sensitive areas.  

Children under the age of 12 will not be suitable for the use of Skinoren. You should not use this substance for longer than 6 months at a time without consulting a doctor, as long-term exposure might harm your skin.  

However, you will need to continue with the treatment you are prescribed by your doctor for at least 2 months to see results with rosacea or one month when you are treating acne. Usually, people have failures when using this medication because they give up on it too soon. If your skin has not improved after one or two months, make an appointment to see your doctor.  

What are the side effects of Skinoren? 

It is possible to experience side effects with any medication, including topical treatments like Skinoren. The substance may affect different people in unique ways. If you notice any strange reactions to this medication, even if they are not listed here, make sure that you contact your doctor.  

Most commonly, when applying Skinoren for the first couple of weeks, people will experience some itching, redness or burning at the site of the application. These conditions will generally improve with consistent use, but if the irritation is quite severe, then you will need to consider using less cream, or reducing your use to once a day.  Some people may also experience discolouration at the application site, dryness and peeling. If you notice more uncommon symptoms such as tingling, swelling, or loss of pigmentation, contact your doctor. You might also have slightly oilier skin when you are using Skinoren.  

In rare cases, people taking Skinoren who already have asthma might find that their asthma symptoms get worse. You will need to talk to your doctor if you think this could be happening to you. Additionally, rarely, you may experience blisters or eczema at the site of the application of this cream.  

When shouldn't you use Skinoren? 

Most people will be safe to use Skinoren without any problems at all. However, it's worth noting that people respond differently to certain medications. Skinoren might not be suitable for you if you have prior conditions that affect your skin, or you have any allergies to the ingredients that are used in Skinoren.  

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to skin products in the past, then it's important to tell your doctor or pharmacist before using this substance. You should also tell your doctor if you're using any other medications on your skin. This could include anything that might be available to buy without a prescription, as well as supplemental and herbal remedies.  

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and want to begin using Skinoren, make sure that your doctor knows and has assessed the risks of the situation. At this time, there isn't enough research into Skinoren to fully determine whether there are any risks to using this medication when you are pregnant. However, scientists believe that only very low levels of this medication are absorbed into the skin.  

Skinoren is unlikely to have any impact on breastfeeding if you are nursing an infant. However, if you are using Skinoren when nursing it may be a good idea to avoid applying this cream near or around the breasts before feeding. This will reduce the risk of your baby coming into contact with Skinoren. This medication will not impair your ability to operate machinery or drive safely, and it should not interact with alcohol.  

Does Skinoren interact with any other medications? 

At this time, it is not known whether Skinoren affects any other medications, and it should be safe to use alongside other medicines taken by mouth. However, it's best to check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure. You should also be careful when using Skinoren alongside other acne medications or creams.  

If you are using Skinoren and you like to apply lotions or powders to your skin, make sure that you give the medication plenty of time to soak in before you apply anything else.  

Where can you buy Skinoren? 

Skinoren is available to buy online and in pharmacies around the country. However, this is a prescription only cream, which means that you will need to get a full doctor's assessment before you purchase Skinoren. Additionally, you should avoid buying this medication from any company who attempts to provide it without a doctor's assessment.  

Can you get Skinoren without a prescription?  

Skinoren is not currently available in the UK without a prescription. This is because it is important for your doctor to conduct a full assessment of your condition before giving you Skinoren to ensure that it is the right treatment for your needs.  




Bayer PLC, Azelaic Acid Skinoren Cream, 2018, [Accessed on the 22nd of June 2019], Available on:  

Bayer PLC, online, 2018, Skinoren Cream, [Accessed on 22nd of June 2019], Available on:  

BNF NICE online, 2018, Azelaic Acid Patient Leaflet, [Accessed on the 22nd of June 2019], Available on  

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.