Research Article| Volume 13, ISSUE 2, P285-307, April 1995

Download started.


The Use of Glycolic Acid as a Peeling Agent

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      Glycolic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid 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. We present our technique for the use of glycolic acid as well as histopathologic findings of skin treated with both glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid at varying time intervals.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribers receive full online access to your subscription and archive of back issues up to and including 2002.

      Content published before 2002 is available via pay-per-view purchase only.


      Subscribe to Dermatologic Clinics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Brodland D.G.
        • Cullimore K.C.
        • Roenigk R.K.
        • et al.
        Depth of chemexfoliation induced by various concentrations and application techniques of trichloroacetic acid in a porcine model.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 9
        • Brodland D.G.
        • Roenigk R.K.
        Trichloroacetic acid chemoexfoliation (chemical peel) for extensive pre-malignant actinic damage of the face and scalp.
        Mayo Clinic Proc. 1988; 63: 887-897
        • Brody H.J.
        Chemical Peeling.
        Mosby, St. Louis1992: 29-42
        • Brody H.J.
        Complications of chemical peeling.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 1010-1019
        • Brody H.J.
        The art of chemical peeling.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 918-921
        • Brody H.J.
        • Hailey C.W.
        Medium depth chemical peeling of the skin: A variation of superficial chemosurgery.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1986; 12: 1268-1275
        • Brown A.M.
        • Kaplan L.M.
        • Brown M.E.
        Cutaneous alterations induced by phenol: A histologic bio-assay.
        Int Surg. 1960; 34: 602
        • Coleman W.P.
        • Futrell J.
        The glycolic acid trichloroaletic acid peel.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1994; 20: 76-80
        • Goldman P.M.
        • Freed M.I.
        Aesthetic problems in chemical peeling.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 1020-1024
      1. Griffin TD, Van Scott EJ: Use of pyruvic acid in the treatment of actinic keratoses: A clinical and histological study. Cutis, May 1991, 678–682

        • Hevia O.
        • Nemeth A.J.
        • Taylor J.R.
        Tretinoin accelerates healing after trichloroacetic acid peel.
        Arch Dermatol. 1991; 127: 40-48
        • Kligman A.M.
        • Willis I.
        A new formula for depigmenting human skin.
        Arch Dermatol. 1975; 111: 40
        • Lavker R.M.
        • Kaidbey K.
        • Leyden J.J.
        Effects of topical ammonium lactate on cutaneous atrophy resulting from a potent topical corticosteroid.
        J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992; 26: 535-544
        • Litton C.
        • Trinidad G.
        Complications of chemical face peeling as evaluated by a questionnaire.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 1981; 67: 739-743
        • Mandy S.H.
        Tretinoin in preoperative and postoperative management of dermabrasion.
        J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986; 15: 878-879
        • Monheit G.D.
        The Jessner’s and TCA peel: A medium depth chemical peel.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 945-950
        • Moy L.S.
        • Moy R.L.
        • Murad H.
        Glycolic acid peels for the treatment of wrinkles and photoaging.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1993; 19: 243-246
        • Moy L.S.
        • Moy R.L.
        • Murad H.
        Superficial chemical peels.
        in: Wheeland R.G. Cutaneous Surgery. WB Saunders, Philadelphia1994: 463-477
      2. Moy LS, Murad H, Moy RL: Effects of glycolic acid on collagen production by human skin fibroblasts. Submitted for publication

        • Moy L.S.
        • Murad H.
        • Moy R.L.
        Glycolic acid therapy: Evaluation of efficacy and techniques in treatment of photodamage lesions.
        Am J Cos Surg. 1993; 10: 1
      3. Murad H: Something old, something new. Dermascope, April 1989

        • Murad H.
        • Moy L.S.
        • Moy R.L.
        Use of AHAs add new dimension to chemical peeling.
        Cos Dermatol. 1990; 5 ([abstr.]): 32
      4. Murad H, Shamban AT, Moy LS: A longitudinal comparative histologic study of cutaneous alterations induced by four peeling agents. In preparation

      5. Murad H, Shamban AT, Moy LS: Polka dot syndrome: A more descriptive name for a common problem. Cos Dermatol, March 1993, 57–58

      6. Murad H, Shamban AT, Moy LS, et al: Melasma: New therapy for an old condition. Submitted for publication

      7. Murad H, Shamban AT, Moy LS, et al: Study shows that acne improves with glycolic acid. Cos Dermatol, Nov 1992, 32–35

        • Perricone N.V.
        An alpha hydroxy acid acts as an antioxidant.
        J Ger Dermatol. 1993; 1: 2
        • Rappaport M.S.
        • Karner F.
        Exacerbation of facial herpes simplex after phenolic face peels.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1994; 10: 57-58
        • Stagnone J.J.
        Superficial peeling.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989; 15: 924-930
        • Stegman J.S.
        Chemical face peeling.
        J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1986; 12: 432
        • Stegman S.S.
        A comparative histologic study of the effects of three peeling agents and dermabrasion on normal and sun-damaged skin.
        Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1982; 6: 123-135
        • Stegman S.S.
        • Tromovitch T.A.
        Chemical peels in cosmetic dermatologic surgery.
        in: Stegman S.S. Tromovitch T.A. Glogau R.G. Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery. Year Book Publishers, Chicago1984: 35-58
        • Van Scott E.J.
        • Yu R.J.
        Alpha hydroxy acids: Procedures for use in clinical practice.
        Cutis. 1989; 43: 222-229
        • Van Scott E.J.
        • Yu R.J.
        Hyperkeratinization, comeocyte cohesion and alpha hydroxy acids.
        J Am Acad Dermatol. 1984; 5: 867-879
        • Van Scott E.J.
        • Yu R.J.
        Substances that modify the stratum corneum by modulating its formation.
        in: Frost P. Horwitz S.N. Principles of Cosmetics for Dermatologists. CV Mosby, St. Louis1982: 70-74