Background: Many clinicians have used glycolic acid (GA) peels for facial acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, mainly in lighter skin types. Salicylic-mandelic acid combination peels (SMPs) are a newer modality, and there have been no well-controlled studies comparing them with other conventional agents.
Objective: To compare the therapeutic efficacy and tolerability of 35% GA peels and 20% salicylic-10% mandelic acid peels in active acne and post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Methods and materials: Forty-four patients with facial acne and post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation were divided into two groups, with one receiving GA peels and the other SMPs at fortnightly intervals for six sessions. The treating physician performed objective evaluation of treatment outcomes. The patients, the treating physician, and an independent observer made subjective assessments. Side effects of both agents were also noted.
Results: Both the agents were effective, but SMPs had a higher efficacy for most active acne lesions (p<.001) and hyperpigmentation (p<.001). Side effects were also lesser with SMPs.
Conclusion: Both the agents were effective and safe in Indian patients, with SMPs being better for active acne and post-acne hyperpigmentation.