• #2-3. A Peeling Agent Effective for Acne Treatment


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    Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)


    Hydroxy acids can be divided largely into the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).


    Alpha hydroxy acids.


    There are several types of AHAs, such as glycolic acid derived from sugar cane, lactic acid from sour milk, malic acid from apples, tartaric acid from grape wine, etc. The lactic acid and the glycolic acid started to be used in clinical settings from the 1970s.


    AHAs remove dead skin cells by diminishing the cellular cohesion between corneocytes and form new stratum corneum. They are effective in treating fine wrinkles and improving elasticity due to causing e.g. production of increased amounts of mucopolysaccharide, increases in collagen by stimulating fibroblasts, increased skin thickness, and increased amount of epidermal and dermal hyaluronic acids.


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    The whitening mechanism of AHAs is caused by epidermal remodeling and desquamation and it is also reported that it inhibits melanin formation by directly interacting with melanocytes.


    Glycolic acids (GAs) are the most widely used form. It can safely be used for treatment at concentrations of less than 30%. When treatment is performed with low concentration (5~10%) of the GAs, epidermal keratin is exfoliated and it is also effective for improving acne, skin damaged by light, melasma, wrinkles and for improving the elasticity of skin.


    Higher concentrations (20~30%) of GA peel are used mainly for e.g. pigmentation, wrinkles, age spots, melasma, and hyperpigmentation after acne treatment. Lower concentrations of GA are used for dry and thin skin and higher concentrations for oily skin or when the dead skin cell layer is thick. However, it is recommended to use lower concentration of less than 10% in clinical settings because there are fewer side effects.


    -To be continued



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