Thursday, March 20, 2008

Which Is The Better Chemical Peel For Acne Treatment, Alpha-Hydroxy Acid Or Beta-Hydroxy Acid?

Acne has been tormenting millions of people in the US. Many acne products have been popping up in the market but there is one acne treatment that had existed for thousands of years. That is the chemical peel. It was recorded in history that Cleopatra had been bathing in sour milk to maintain her skin smooth and nice. Lactic acid found in sour milk is effective in peeling the skin removing dead skin. Lactic acid belongs to a group called Alpha-hydroxy acid.

A recent study by researchers from Saint Louis University School of Medicine has found that Alpha-hydroxy acid and Beta-hydroxy acid chemical peels are found to be both equally highly effective in combating mild to moderate facial acne.

20 patients suffering from mild to moderated acne were studied in that research. There are 17 males and 13 female in the studied group. Alpha-hydroxy acid peel (30% concentration of glycolic acid) was applied on one half of the face, while Beta-hydroxy acid peel (30% concentration of salicylic acid) was applied on the other half of the face of each patient. The treatments are done every two weeks for duration of three months. A non-bias evaluator was used to examine the effectiveness of each acid peels on the reduction of acne. Both the evaluator and the patients did not know which sides of the faces were applied with Alpha-hydroxy acid or Beta-hydroxy acid.

At the examination during the second treatment, both sides of the faces have found to have significantly reduced the numbers of pimples. However there are more severe side effects found on the sides of the faces that were applied with Alpha-hydroxy acid during the first examination. All these side effects generally were reduced to minimal after further treatments. Some common side effects of Alpha-hydroxy acid and Beta-hydroxy acid are stinging sensation, redness, dryness and peeling.

An examination was done to check for post treatment effect one month after all 6 treatments had been completed. It was found that 94% of the patients still continued to see good reduction in the numbers of pimples on both sides of their faces. Alpha-hydroxy acid and Beta-hydroxy acid chemical peels were still able to maintain their effectiveness one month after all treatments had been done.

Another examination was done two months after all treatments had been done. Beta-hydroxy acid had shown a bigger improvement in treating acne than Alpha-hydroxy acid. The non-bias evaluator gave 81 percent of the sides of faces applied with salicylic acid chemical peel fair or good improvement in acne condition, while only 75 percent of the sides applied with glycolic acid received fair or good improvement. There were also a few numbers of new pimples popping up on the sides that were applied with glycolic acid. However the numbers of new pimples were insignificant to be bothered.

The researchers concluded that both salicylic acid and glycolic acid chemical peels are equally effective in acne treatment. Salicylic acid was able to continue its effectiveness and had lesser side effects than glycolic acid. Overall Alpha-hydroxy acid and Beta-hydroxy acid chemical peels are successful treatment of acne.

Visit How to Get Rid of Pimples Fast for more pimple treatment methods