Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
15th National Conference of the IAOMFP, Chennai, 2006
Abstracts from current literature
Acne in India: Guidelines for management - IAA Consensus Document
Art & Psychiatry
Association Activities
Association Notes
Award Article
Book Review
Brief Report
Case Analysis
Case Letter
Case Letters
Case Notes
Case Report
Case Reports
Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Clinical Article
Clinical Studies
Clinical Study
Conference Oration
Conference Summary
Continuing Medical Education
Cosmetic Dermatology
Current Best Evidence
Current Issue
Current View
Derma Quest
Dermato Surgery
Dermatosurgery Specials
Dispensing Pearl
Do you know?
Drug Dialogues
Editor Speaks
Editorial Remarks
Editorial Report
Editorial Report - 2007
Editorial report for 2004-2005
Fourth All India Conference Programme
From Our Book Shelf
From the Desk of Chief Editor
Get Set for Net
Get set for the net
Guest Article
Guest Editorial
How I Manage?
IADVL Announcement
IADVL Announcements
IJDVL Awards
IJDVL Awards 2018
IJDVL Awards 2019
IJDVL Awards 2020
IJDVL International Awards 2018
Images in Clinical Practice
In Memorium
Inaugural Address
Knowledge From World Contemporaries
Leprosy Section
Letter in Response to Previous Publication
Letter to Editor
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor - Case Letter
Letter to the Editor - Letter in Response to Published Article
Letter to the Editor - Observation Letter
Letter to the Editor - Study Letter
Letter to the Editor - Therapy Letter
Letter to the Editor: Articles in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters in Response to Previous Publication
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - Letter in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters to the Editor: Case Letters
Letters to the Editor: Letters in Response to Previously Published Articles
Medicolegal Window
Miscellaneous Letter
Net Case
Net case report
Net Image
Net Letter
Net Quiz
Net Study
New Preparations
News & Views
Observation Letter
Observation Letters
Original Article
Original Contributions
Pattern of Skin Diseases
Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Rounds
Presedential Address
Presidential Address
Presidents Remarks
Report of chief editor
Report of Hon : Treasurer IADVL
Report of Hon. General Secretary IADVL
Research Methdology
Research Methodology
Resident page
Resident's Page
Resident’s Page
Residents' Corner
Residents' Corner
Residents' Page
Review Article
Review Articles
Reviewers 2022
Revision Corner
Self Assessment Programme
Seminar: Chronic Arsenicosis in India
Seminar: HIV Infection
Short Communication
Short Communications
Short Report
Special Article
Specialty Interface
Study Letter
Study Letters
Symposium - Contact Dermatitis
Symposium - Lasers
Symposium - Pediatric Dermatoses
Symposium - Psoriasis
Symposium - Vesicobullous Disorders
Symposium Aesthetic Surgery
Symposium Dermatopathology
Symposium-Hair Disorders
Symposium-Nails Part I
Symposium-Nails-Part II
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Therapeutic Guideline-IADVL
Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines - IADVL
Therapy Letter
Therapy Letters
View Point
What’s new in Dermatology

Translate this page into:

PMID: 17664695

Chemical peeling - Evaluation of glycolic acid in varying concentrations and time intervals

RR Gupta, BB Mahajan, Geeta Garg
 Department of Dermatology, Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot - 151203, India

Correspondence Address:
B B Mahajan
Department of Dermatology, Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot - 151203
How to cite this article:
Gupta R R, Mahajan B B, Garg G. Chemical peeling - Evaluation of glycolic acid in varying concentrations and time intervals. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2001;67:28-29
Copyright: (C)2001 Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology


Thirty-one patients with melasma, 4 with superficial post acne scarring and one each with xeroderma pigmentosum and epidermal naevus were studied to know the efficacy of glycolic acid for chemical peeling in varying concentrations and time intervals such as 35% (4 minutes), 52.5% (3 minutes), 70% (2 minutes) at varying intervals upto 6 months. These patients were in the age group of 17-44 years. These patients were followed up regularly. Results showed significant improvement when peeling was done with 52.5% glycolic acid for 3 minutes in melasma, 70% glycolic acid for 2 minutes in superfical post acne scarring.
Keywords: Chemical peeling, Glycofic acid


Alpha - hydroxy acids are a class of com-pounds derived from various foods and there-fore called "fruit acid". Glycolic acid comes from sugarcane, malic from apples, tartaric from grapes, citric from citrus fruits and lactic from sour milk.[1],[2],[3] The benefits of AHAs for chemical peeling have long been recognised. Out of all AHAs, glycolic acid is most commonly used for chemical peeling. Present pilot study was un-dertaken to evaluate and standardize the effi-cacy of glycolic acid in three different concen-trations i.e. 35%, 52.5% and 70% with time intervals corresponding to four minutes, three minutes, and two minutes respectively in com-monly encountered dermatological problems.-

Materials and Methods

Thirty-seven patients were selected randomly on clinical basis from Skin and S.T.D. O.P. They in-cluded patients with melasma (31 cases), superfical post acne scarring (4 cases), xeroderma pigmentosum (1 case ), and epidermal naevus (1 case). Minimum age in the study was 17 years and maximum age was 44 years. There were 31 females and 6 males. Patients were advised to use retinoic acid cream (0.025%) at bed time for 2 weeks prior to peeling. During the peel programme, patient was advised to wash his/her face with soap and water. The face was then cleaned with spirit. Then two coat-ings of acetone were applied to ensure even appli-cation of the chemical. After that glycolic acid in re-quired concentrations as in [table] was applied start-ing from forehead-right cheek - chin-left cheek-na-sal bridge-nose-perioral area-upper and lower eye-lids i.e. from least sensitive to most sensitive area for the specified time period. The patient was advised to clean his/her face with ice cold water for termination and neutralisation. All the patients were given sunscreen lotions during day time and emol-lients at bed time. The application was repeated at an interval of 3 weeks for 4 sittings and then monthly for a total duration of 6 months.

Results after 6 months

No significant improvement was noted in cases of melasma where peeling was done with 35% glycolic acid for 4 minutes but, 52.5% glycolic acid applied for 3 minutes in cases of melasma (27 pa-tients) showed significant improvement. 70% glycolic acid applied for 2 minutes in post acne scarring showed significant improvement but 70% glycolic acid applied for 2 minutes in epidermal naevus did not show any significant improvement.


The depth of peel usually determines the cos-metic results but in alpha hydroxy acid peel, depth is determined by the agent used, its concentration, volume applied, time of contact, frequency of appli-cation, integrity of stratum corneum and skin thick-ness. Recent interest in AHAs has been rekindled by the work of Van Scott et al.[4],[5] In low concentration, these cause a decrease in corneocyte adhesion but at higher concentration they result in epidermolysis and upper dermal changes producing a vibrant, less wrinkled, more uniformly coloured skin. AHAs have been shown to increase glycosaminoglycans, col-lagen, collagen precursors and factor 13 A, which reverse photo damage and contribute to epidermal and dermal growth factors and mass cell disintegra-tion,[6] as well as regulate homeostasis by keeping the stratum corneum at a suitable thickness to function as a pro-tective barrier.[7]

In our study, maximum benefi-cial effects were noted with 52.5% for 3 minutes in melasma and 70% for 2 min-utes in post acne scarring. Minimum side effects were noted with 52.5% concentration in form of erythema, or burning. As the peels are time and dose related, the longer the exposure to skin and more concen-trated in the solution, the deeper the peel.[8] The in-terval between peels is determined by peel depth, the condition being treated, time and concentration of agent. Glycolic acid chemical peel procedures to-gether with preoperative preparation and post op-erative maintenance have provided a pleasing ad-junct to cosmetic surgical practice in our study.

Moy LS, Mural H, Moy RL. Superficial chemical peels, Cutaneous surgery, Wheeland RG ed, 1st edn. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1994; 463-478.
[Google Scholar]
Rubin MG. Glycolic acid peels. Manual of chemical peels-superfical and medium depth. Winter SR, James M,Caputo GR eds, Ist edn. Philadelphia. JB Lippincot Co., 1995; 89-102.
[Google Scholar]
Brody H. Superficial peeling. Chemical peeling, Patterson AN ed, Ist edn. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book Inc., 1992;53-73.
[Google Scholar]
Van Scott, EJ, Yu RJ. Alpha hydroxy acids: procedures for use in clinical practice. Cutis, 1989; 43: 222-228.
[Google Scholar]
Van Scott, EJ, Yu RJ. Control of keratinization with alpha hydroxy acids and related compounds. Topical treatment of ichthyotic disorders. Arch Dermatol 1974; 110: 586-590.
[Google Scholar]
Ditre C. Improvement of photoaged skin with alpha hydroxy acid. Presented at update on AHA symposium. San Doego, California, June 12-13 1993.
[Google Scholar]
Lavker RM, Kaideby K, Leyden JJ. Effects of topical ammonium lactate on cutaneous atrophy from a potent topical corticosteroid.J Am Acad Dermatol 1992; 26: 535-544.
[Google Scholar]
Moy LS. A comparison of depth of wounding of different peeling agents, Presented update on Alpha hydroxy acids symposium, San Diego, California, June 12-13, 1993.
[Google Scholar]
Show Sections