The following studies recommend glycolic acid as cutaneous rejuvenation treatment either alone or in combination with other treatments because of its significant antiaging effects.
“Combining superficial glycolic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) peels with microdermabrasion to maximize treatment results and patient satisfaction” (Cutis. 2007 Jan;79).
“Microdermabrasion and superficial glycolic acid peels are common aesthetic procedures. Microdermabrasion alone provides the benefits of exfoliation but may provide faster results and increased patient satisfaction when combined with superficial glycolic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) peels because of the significant antiaging effects of glycolic acid peels. A roundtable discussion was held with dermatologists to review methods of combining these procedures. The first method included alternating glycolic acid peels and microdermabrasion treatments every 2 weeks, enabling the patient to receive both a peel and microdermabrasion in the same month. With the second method, microdermabrasion may be used prior to the superficial glycolic acid peel to increase the exfoliation and antiaging effects of both treatments within the same visit. This second method is considered to be a more aggressive approach and usually is reserved for patients with a history of procedures. Lastly, combining treatments can be used to maintain a patient’s skin after the initial treatment stage, usually performed every other month or seasonally, depending on the patient. As with all combination treatments, safety precautions and monitoring the patient’s skin throughout treatment are crucial to success.” PMID: 17455889
“Glycolic acid is a member of the AHA family, which occurs naturally in foods and has been used for centuries as a cutaneous rejuvenation treatment. Recently it has proved to be a versatile peeling agent and it is now widely used to treat many defects of the epidermis and papillary dermis in a variety of strengths, ranging from 20% to 70%, depending on the condition being treated. People of almost any skin type and color are candidates, and almost any area of the body can be peeled. Several weeks prior to a peel the skin may be prepared with topical tretinoin or glycolic acid, and immediately prior to the peel the skin may be degreased with a variety of agents. Following the peel the skin is carefully observed for any complications such as hyperpigmentation and infection. Results are maintained with serial peels and at-home use of tretinoin or glycolic acid, as well as sun avoidance. The glycolic acid can be applied simultaneously with TCA and is another technique for a medium-depth peel. Comparison of 35% TCA-treated skin with 70% glycolic acid-treated skin examined histologically at different times reveals similar changes in papillary dermis connective tissue proteins, epidermal necrosis seen only with TCA, and reversion at 2 years postpeel to pretreatment appearance.”
We can compound glycolic acid into a variety of facial peels.
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