Introduction: 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.
Aims: 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.
Material and methods: 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.
Results: 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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