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J Cosmet Dermatol. 2010 Sep;9(3):246-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2010.00513.x.

Lactic acid peeling in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin.



Chemical peeling with both alpha and beta hydroxy acids has been used to improve acne scarring with pigmentation. Lactic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid, has been used in the treatment of various dermatological indications but no study is reported in acne scarring with pigmentation.


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of full strength pure lactic acid 92% (pH 2.0) chemical peel in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin.


Seven patients, Fitzpatrick skin type IV-V, in age group 20-30 years with superficial acne scarring were enrolled in the study. Chemical peeling was done with lactic acid at an interval of 2 weeks to a maximum of four peels. Pre- and post-peel clinical photographs were taken at every session. Patients were followed every month for 3 months after the last peel to evaluate the effects.


At the end of 3 months, there was definite improvement in the texture, pigmentation, and appearance of the treated skin, with lightening of scars. Significant improvement (greater than 75% clearance of lesions) occurred in one patient (14.28%), good improvement (51-75% clearance) in three patients (42.84%), moderate improvement (26-50% clearance) in two patients (28.57%), and mild improvement (1-25% clearance) in one patient (14.28%).

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