Acids and Aesthetic Medicine

Acids are called exfoliating substances used in aesthetic dermatology to remove dead keratinocytes from the epidermis in order to renew the skin. Depending on how deeply they penetrate the layers of the skin, they are divided into superficial, medium and deep peelings.


Superficial and medium depth are usually used as they do not cause removal despite the most superficial layers with little or no recovery time. Among the superficial peelings, α-hydroxy acids (glycolic, citric, lactic, mandelic and tartaric) are very popular. At the beginning of an acid treatment we use low acid concentrations or slow release acids that are not aggressive to the skin.


For a complete result, 4-8 sessions are needed depending on the type of skin and the problem we are dealing with. Peelings with acids are suitable for all ages and treat problems of acne, oiliness, dullness, light discoloration and fine wrinkles as well as skin roughness. They activate fibroblasts resulting in collagen production and increase skin hydration. They do not cause visible peeling and one can return to activities after the treatment with little or no redness, which if any, lasts for a day.


Their repeated use contributes to antiaging and improves the texture and color tone of the skin. The category of surface peelings also includes β-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid and azelaic acid, which have a better effect on acne and oiliness. Medium-depth peels include trichloroacetic acid (TCA) which is used in concentrations of 20-50% and penetrates deeper into the skin, causing visible peeling 3-4 days after its use. It helps to reduce fine wrinkles, intense discolorations and incipient hyperkeratosis.


Acids are treatments that are mainly done in winter to avoid sun exposure of exfoliated skin and it is always recommended to diligently use sunscreen daily for a month after the last treatment to avoid freckles and discoloration. Acid treatments are ideal for all skin types except very thin and dry skins. They are combined with all injectable treatments (hyaluronic, botox, mesotherapy) and give a skin that is uniform in color, bright and with a more youthful appearance.