Article |

Topical 8% Glycolic Acid and 8% L-Lactic Acid Creams for the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin:  A Double-blind Vehicle-Controlled Clinical Trial

Matthew J. Stiller, MD; John Bartolone, PhD; Robert Stern, MD; Shondra Smith, MD; Nikiforos Kollias, PhD; Robert Gillies, PhD; Lynn A. Drake, MD
Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(6):631-636. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890300047009.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective:  To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of 2 widely used topical α-hydroxy acids at low concentrations, 8% glycolic acid and 8% lactic (L-isoform) acid creams, in the treatment of photodamaged skin.

Design:  A single-center, 22-week, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, randomized clinical trial assessed the overall severity of photodamage on the faces and forearms of volunteers, based on 7 individual clinical components of cutaneous photodamage.

Setting:  The study was performed in an outpatient clinical research unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Patients:  Seventy-four women, aged 40 to 70 years, with moderately severe photodamaged facial skin were enrolled in the study. One subject withdrew from the study early because of skin irritation, and 6 subjects withdrew from the study for personal reasons.

Interventions:  Glycolic acid, L-lactic acid, or vehicle creams were applied twice daily to the face and outer aspect of the forearms.

Main Outcome Measures:  Improvement in α-hydroxy acid—treated photodamaged skin as determined by patient self-assessments and physician evaluations of efficacy and irritancy.

Results:  The percentage of patients using either 8% glycolic acid or 8% L-lactic acid creams on the face achieving at least 1 grade of improvement (using a scale from 0 through 9) in overall severity of photodamage was significantly greater than with the vehicle cream (76% glycolic acid, 71% lactic acid, and 40% vehicle; P<.05). On the forearms, after 22 weeks, treatment with glycolic acid cream was superior to the vehicle in improving the overall severity of photodamage and sallowness (P<.05). L-Lactic acid cream was significantly superior to the vehicle in reducing the overall severity of photodamage (P<.05), mottled hyperpigmentation (P<.05), sallowness (P<.05), and roughness on the forearms (P<.05) at week 22.

Conclusions:  Topical 8% glycolic acid and 8% L-lactic acid creams are modestly useful in ameliorating some of the signs of chronic cutaneous photodamage. These agents are well tolerated and available without prescription.(Arch Dermatol 1996;132:631-636)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.