Glycolic acid has been recognized as an important adjunctive therapy in a variety of conditions including photodamage, acne, rosacea, striae albae pseudofolliculitis barbae, hyper-pigmentation disorders, actinic keratoses, fine wrinkles, lentigines, melasma and seborrheic keratoses . Moreover, it can reduce UV-in-duced skin tumor development and it has been proposed as a therapeutic modality against skin exfoliative conditions such as ichthyosis, xeroderma and psoriasis. In post-menopausal women a cream containing 0.01% estradiol and 15% glycolic acid, applied to one side of the face for 6 months, induces a significant improvement in reversing markers (rete peg pattern, epidermal thickness) of skin aging .
Glycolic acid chemical peels are an effective treatment for all types of acne, inducing rapid improvement and restoration of normal-looking skin. In these patients glycolic acid is more widely used than Jessner's solution, considering the equal treatment effect but a reduced exfoliation in glycolic acid . Although the treatment of atrophic acne scars is difficult and generally unsatisfactory, many clinical studies have been performed to investigate the efficacy of glycolic acid in the treatment of acne vulgaris.
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 .
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