Lactic Acid Peel Effective for Melasma

Patients treated at three-week intervals respond within two to five lactic acid applications

FRIDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A lactic acid chemical peel is a safe and efficacious treatment for melasma, researchers report in the December issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Khalifa E. Sharquie, Ph.D., of the University of Baghdad in Iraq, and colleagues evaluated the effect of lactic acid peels on 30 melasma patients at Baghdad Hospital from April 2001 to August 2002. Most patients had skin type IV; their ages ranged from 18 to 50; four were male, 26 were female. Patients had pure lactic acid applied to the left half of their faces, and Jessner's solution to the right every three weeks until their condition resolved.

The researchers found that out of 24 patients who finished the study, an examination using Wood's light showed that there was more contrast mainly in epidermal melasma for all patients over two to five sessions. Improvement was significant for all patients, with no side effects, the report indicates.

"Lactic acid was found to be an effective and safe peeling agent in the treatment of melasma, and it was as effective as Jessner's solution," the authors write.

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