Double-blind Comparison of Azelaic Acid 20% Cream and its Vehicle in Treatment of Papulo-pustular Rosacea
Roar Bjerke, Ole Fyrand, Klaus Graupe
Previous investigations have indicated that topical azelaic acid has beneficial effects in rosacea. This 3-month randomized, double-blind, multicentre study compared the efficacy and safety of azelaic acid 20% cream with its vehicle, in the treatment of papulo-pustular rosacea. A total of 116 patients were enrolled in the study and medication was applied twice daily. Azelaic acid cream produced significantly greater mean reductions in total inflammatory lesions than did vehicle (azelaic acid: 73.4%; vehicle: 50.6%; (p=0.011), and erythema severity score (azelaic acid: 47.9%; vehicle: 37.9%; (p=0.031). Azelaic acid cream treatment also resulted in significantly more favourable overall improvements than vehicle in both physician (p=0.020) and patient ratings (p=0.042). Neither azelaic acid cream nor vehicle produced any clinically relevant improvement in telangiectasia. Local adverse events were transient and mainly mild or moderate, and rates were similar for azelaic acid cream (39.5%) and vehicle (38.5%). Burning was the symptom most frequently reported. More than 90% of patients rated the overall local tolerability of their treatment as good or acceptable. In conclusion, azelaic acid 20% cream is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of papulo-pustular rosacea.