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Which one is suppose to be more effective?

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I have had mild to moderate acne for the last 14 years. I tried azelaic acid (along with a lot of other things!) several years ago. I did not find it helpful for clearing my acne and despite limiting my usage my skin was so dry and peeling off. I have finally tried a topical retinoid (Differin)- started 2 weeks ago and despite an initial break-out my skin does seem to finally be starting to clear up. I have only had minimal dryness with the Differin (I make sure I moisturize twice a day with Oil of Olay). I would say both can be used for mild to moderate acne. Doctors are keen to try things other than retinoids to begin with, not sure if that is just due to the side-effects, as retinoids make you very sensitive to the sun. If you have tried azelaic acid and other things like antibiotics, contraceptive pills, BZ etc then maybe topical retinoids is the next step? Oral retinoids are normally only for severe acne as they can have much worse side-effects and need monitoring closely by a doctor. But even with that if your acne is persistent and causing you significant emotional distress your dermatologist may still suggest giving it a go. Good luck!

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