Alpha Hydroxy Acids
In this Article
- What other names is Alpha Hydroxy Acids known by?
- What is Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
- Is Alpha Hydroxy Acids effective?
- How does Alpha Hydroxy Acids work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
When taken by mouth, the alpha hydroxy acid called malic acid seems to be safe when used short-term. Some people can have side effects including diarrhea, nausea, and general stomach discomfort.
Do not take alpha hydroxy acids by mouth if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For treating skin wrinkled and aged by sunlight: Alpha hydroxy acid products containing lactic acid, tartaric acid, gluconolactone, or glycolic acid (GA) in 8% concentration are used. The alpha hydroxy acid gluconolactone has also been used in a 14% solution. These products are usually applied to the skin twice daily.
- For improving the appearance of acne scars: glycolic acid (GA) facial peels are used. Peels of increasing strength of 20%, 35%, 50%, and 70% are applied every two weeks. Peels are applied first for 2 minutes and then for a longer time (up to 4-5 minutes) before applying the next stronger solution. Completing the series at least 6 times is usually needed before skin looks better. People who do not like facial peels often use 15% GA lotion daily long-term instead.
- For lightening brown patches due to a condition called melasma: a 10% lotion of the glycolic acid (GA) is applied with a sunscreen to facial skin nightly for 2 weeks. Then a peeling program is done monthly for 3 months in a row. The peeling program features a 50% GA peel applied three times to the face and left on for a period of 2-5 minutes each time (first peel 2 minutes, second peel 4 minutes, and third peel 5 minutes).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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