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Treating PIH and acne at the same time - Azelaic Acid?

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Has anyone used some form of Azelaic Acid (Finacea, Azelex, Acnederm, Skinoren etc.) with good results in healing PIH?

I have mild acne, which flared up badly the past 2 or 3 months mainly due to me messing around with lots of different skincare products, changing my regimen almost every week, stress from uni, and stress from trying to get used to life in a long distance relationship again after a long visit.

I have finally sort of managed to get it back under control, using BP again (which I really want to stop using), and have gradually weaned myself off again (albeit rather quickly) the past few weeks by going from a thick layer morning and evening, to a thin layer morning and evening, and then to just a BP wash morning and evening. Today is my third day without any BP, and I've been trying to start a super gentle regimen, using just Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, and their moisturizer if necessary here and there. So far i haven't had any new breakouts really, only one or two tiny ones that are hardly visible unless I get like 2 inches away from the mirror.. I just have a few dark marks and a small scab from a recent breakout on my right cheek (I'm a chronic picker and I'm trying REALLY hard to stop because if I don't pick, the acne I do get doesn't look bad at all).And then there's of course the horrible hyperpigmentation I have from the past 2 or 3 months, mostly on my cheeks, and some on my jawline. This is what I desperately want to get rid of. My skin is looking much healthier since using only Cetaphil, and I hate the dryness, intense redness and flushing I get whenever I use BP, so I really don't want to go back to using it. I'm also very certain it prolongs my red marks.

Now, I've been looking into Azelaic acid, and it appears to be much gentler than BP, and also apparently helps with PIH... Almost sounds too good to be true! I want to stay off chemicals as much as possible, and just allow my skin to become normal again (I don't care if I get a pimple here and there, it's not as bad as having a hot, red and sunburnt-looking face all day, when my acne isn't really even that bad.) My skin is very sensitive, so BP really makes me look like a lobster, and it has never gotten me 100% clear anyway, despite having used all sorts of different brands, strengths and methods of using it on and off for about 4 years now. It's time to move on!

So basically, to make a long story short, I'd love to know what brands of Azelaic acid people have had most success with, how well it works for acne, and how well for PIH especially. I'd like to apply it only at night and only until the PIH is gone. The ones I have access to are Skinoren and Acnederm. Hope someone can help! Thanks in advance!


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