Lactic acid peeling in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin

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


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%).

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / drug therapy*
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lactic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects


  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Lactic Acid