Content Map Terms

Acne: Treatment With Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Topic Overview

Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid are often used in products to treat acne. These products work by drying up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples and causing the top layer of your skin to peel.

Skin care products that have AHAs are generally safe to use, but they may cause tingling and a mild redness of the skin. Use them less often if you notice that your skin becomes very red or very dry.

Using skin care products with AHAs will make your skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun and other sources of UV light.

Credits

Current as of:
March 3, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Ellen K. Roh MD - Dermatology