Chemical peels using either alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid are both highly effective in treating mild to moderately severe facial acne, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found the first study to compare the two different types of acid peels as therapies for the skin disorder.
Peels using beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) had slightly fewer side effects and results that lasted a bit longer than did peels using alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHA), the study found. But overall, both types of treatments were similarly effective in reducing lesions caused by acne vulgaris, the medical term for common facial acne, which affects some 85 percent of all people 12 to 24 years old.
This is good news for the millions of Americans who suffer from mild to moderately severe facial acne, said Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., vice chair and professor of dermatology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. This provides more options for patients and doctors to chose from when it comes to tailoring a treatment program for each individual.
The research is published in the current edition of Dermatologic Surgery (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2007.34007.x).
AHA (which is also called glycolic acid) and BHA (also called salicylic acid) are frequently used by physicians to induce light skin peels, which help treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne and uneven texture and coloration. The peel removes a very thin layer of skin, which in turn promotes the growth of new, smoother skin.
Both types of acid are derived from organic compounds. AHA has the same active ingredient thats found in sugar cane juice, sour milk and tomato juice, while BHA is derived from salicin, which is closely related to the active ingredient in aspirin.
The study involved 20 patients with moderate to severe facial ac
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Saint Louis University