Randomized trial comparing a chemical peel containing a lipophilic hydroxy acid derivative of salicylic acid with a salicylic acid peel in subjects with comedonal acne

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2011 Sep;10(3):174-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2011.00566.x.


Background: Lipohydroxyacid is a lipophilic derivative of salicylic acid with comedolytic properties.

Objectives: To compare lipohydroxyacid and salicylic acid peels in subjects with comedonal acne.

Methods: In this split face, randomized study, 20 subjects with comedonal acne received lipohydroxyacid peels on one side of the face, while the other side was treated with salicylic acid peels. A total of six peels at 2-week intervals were performed. Efficacy was evaluated by counting noninflammatory and inflammatory lesions and by performing a global change in acne assessment. Safety was assessed by evaluating adverse events, global tolerance, and the presence of erythema, scaling, and dryness.

Results: There was a statistically significant decrease of 55.6% and 48.5% from baseline to Day 98 in the mean number of noninflammatory lesions for the sides treated with lipohydroxyacid and salicylic acid peels, respectively (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the degree of reduction in noninflammatory lesions between the two peels. There was no significant reduction in the number of inflammatory lesions. Both peels were generally very well tolerated.

Conclusion: This study suggests that lipohydroxyacid peels can be beneficial to subjects with comedonal acne.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Chemexfoliation / methods*
  • Erythema / chemically induced
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pruritus / chemically induced
  • Salicylates / adverse effects
  • Salicylates / therapeutic use
  • Salicylic Acid / adverse effects
  • Salicylic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 2-hydroxy-5-octanoylbenzoic acid
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Salicylates
  • Salicylic Acid