Document Detail

Effects of glycolic acid on light-induced skin pigmentation in Asian and caucasian subjects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10906645     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Topical use of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) may increase skin photosensitivity, as demonstrated by increased numbers of sunburst cells. However, effects of AHA on tanning have not been studied. OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to study whether short-term use of glycolic acid hastens resolution of pre-existing light-induced pigmentation and whether the skin becomes tan more easily in Asian and Caucasian subjects after such treatment. METHODS: Six Asian and six Caucasian volunteers received separate irradiations of UVB and UVA to both sides of the lower back. In a double-blind fashion, patients then applied a 10% glycolic acid gel, pH 3.52, to one side of the back, including the irradiated area, and the contralateral extensor forearms once daily for 7 days and then twice daily for 2 weeks. A placebo gel, pH 5.75, was applied to the opposite sides. The subjects returned for measurement of residual tanning with a colorimeter and received additional irradiation to forearms and a second site on the back. Resulting pigmentation was measured immediately after irradiation, at 2 hours, and at 1 week. RESULTS: Increased UVB-induced skin tanning occurred on the forearm and the lower back in both races in areas pretreated with glycolic acid. UVA also caused increased tanning, but only on the extensor forearms in Asian subjects. Treatment with glycolic acid for 3 weeks had no effect on pre-existing light-induced pigmentation. CONCLUSION: Short-term topical treatment of glycolic acid caused an increase in UVB tanning as well as in UVA tanning in some subjects, even in the absence of overt irritation. The inclusion of UVB, and even UVA, sunscreen in AHA products may be warranted.
T F Tsai; P H Bowman; S H Jee; H I Maibach; B H Paul
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology     Volume:  43     ISSN:  0190-9622     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Acad. Dermatol.     Publication Date:  2000 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-09-12     Completed Date:  2000-09-12     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7907132     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Dermatol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  238-43     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Dermatology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, ROC.
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MeSH Terms
Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Double-Blind Method
European Continental Ancestry Group
Glycolates / pharmacology*
Keratolytic Agents / pharmacology*
Middle Aged
Skin Pigmentation / drug effects*
Ultraviolet Rays*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Glycolates; 0/Keratolytic Agents; 79-14-1/glycolic acid
Erratum In:
J Am Acad Dermatol 2000 Oct;43(4):609
Note: Paul, BH [corrected to Bowman, PH]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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