Azelaic Acid or Retin-A and Electrolysis

I have been prescribed Azelaic acid (a topical cream) for acne and a darker patch of skin on my upper lip (think it was caused by electrolysis). Is it okay to use this in conjunction with electrolysis. I intend to stop using it 3 days before my appointment. Here is some information about Azelex:

What it is: Made under the brand name “Azelex”. Azelex is a cream containing 20% azelaic acid, a naturally occuring acid found in whole grain cereals and animal products. It is normally applied twice daily.

What it does: Azelaic acid is thought to help the skin to renew itself more quickly and prevent the buildup of cells that can plug pores, therefore reducing pimple and blackhead formation. It also helps to kill P. Acnes, the bacteria that cause acne.


I know that these acids including Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy help slough dead skin by stimulating the skin cells to regenerate faster. Sunburn is the biggest concern I think. The skin will be moister too. Is there an incompatibility with eletrolysis, anybody?

BTW, I have added alpha hydroxy cream to my adult acne regimen and it is unclogging my pores great.

If you have a good electrologist, there is no trouble. You may have more sensation, and you may need to be better about drinking your water, but it is not a problem.

If you have a bad electrologist, an unskilled electrologist, someone who has not yet mastered the machine they are working on, or are self treating, you could have extra bad experiences, as your skin is a little thinner, but has more moisture being drawn to the area, at the same time a drying effect is happening in the skin that is sloughing off. If you are allowing yourself to dehydrate, you won’t have enough moisture to pull into the area, but don’t get me talking about how much water humans should drink every day. We already had that argument.

Thank you both for your input. James, should my electrologist have to lower the settings? She really hates to turn the settings down and I don’t think she’d do it, but I really want to use this cream. Thanks!

May I ask WHY you are useing these potions?

May I ask WHY you are useing these potions?

I want to use it to fade the darker pigmentation on the upper lip.

I would be much happier if you were using Kojic Acid and/or Licorice, but I guess that might cause a change. It just seems that for lightening only, you would be better off with what I described, or hydroquinine, or hydroquinone.

One of the things that’s good about going through a good electrology school is that they actually expect you to go through a lot of material outside the classroom. One of the things that I found while I was a student was written by James E. Schuster, M.D. in the Guidelines '97-'98 for Permanent Hair Removal Using the Electrolysis Modalities produced by Electrolysis Research, Inc. It specifically addresses Retin A, Renova, and Differin.

Here is a partial excerpt from the article that specifically addresses electrolysis for clients using these products:
“1. Patrons using these drugs are more likely to have acne or photodamage of their skin”
“2. Dryness of the skin is quite common even after extra moisturizer is used.”
“3. The client’s skin will often appear smoother (unless dryness is present) and slightly more transparent.”
“4. Alcohol-containing pre & post-treatment products may cause some burning sensation.”
“5. There is no contraindication for the use of any electrolysis modality, but expect increased post-electrolysis redness (erythema), and in some cases, noticeable increased sensitivity requiring decreasing the intensity and/or timing. Increased crusting may also be noticed.”
“6. If skin sensitivity (redness, pain, crusting) is a problem, insulated probes might be helpful.”

I hope this helps.
Joanie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Joanie, thanks for the information posted. It was very helpful!

James, what do you think of this product for pigmentation? Do you think it would be okay to use in conjunction with electrolysis?

PTR Potent Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex

It is pricey, but one of the good ones. In fact, if I did not get so much heat for naming products, it would have been one that I would have named.