Alpha Hydroxy Acids
These naturally occurring acids have multiple cosmetic benefits. They are available in to the public in lower concentrations by way of creams. Higher concentrations are used by doctors and dermatologists to improve skin and alleviate blemishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids Used For?
- Do Alpha Hydroxy Acids Treat Fibromyalgia Pain?
- List of Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- Are AHAs Effective for Skin Whitening?
- Do Alpha Hydroxy Acids Cure Acne?
What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids Used For?
There are many possible uses for AHAs. Alpha Hydroxy Acids can either be applied as a cream, lotion or skin peel. Higher concentration AHA chemical peels are performed by a doctor or dermatologist. Each has its own distinct uses. Lotions and creams are used for treating sun damage, dry skin and acne. On the other hand, high concentration AHA facial peels can alleviate acne scarring more effectively than using lower concentrated lotions (even if applied on a daily basis). Epidermal and mixed melasma skin discolorations can be treated via a treatment plan, starting with lotions and followed by facial peeling. Unfortunately, this treatment does not work for dermal melasma.
Do Alpha Hydroxy Acids Treat Fibromyalgia Pain?
Fibromyalgia is a painful condition which involves pain and tenderness in joints, muscles and other soft tissues. Some dermatologists have suggested that soreness associated with the condition may be alleviated by using a specific combination of AHAs. The recommended mixture involves a combining malic acid with magnesium. However, there is insufficient evidence of this treatment reducing such pain.
List of Alpha Hydroxy Acids
AHAs is a group of acids which naturally occur in foods including citric acid (from citrus fruits), glycolic acids (from sugar cane), malic acid (found in apples), lactic acid (sourced from sour milk), tartaric acid (from grapes) and mandelic acid (found in almonds). Other names associated with AHAs include Acidos Alfa-Hydroxi, Alpha-Hydroxyethanoic Acid, Apple Acid, Citric Acid, Dihydroxysuccinic Acid, Fruit Acid Gluconolactone, Hydroxyacetic Acid, Hydroxycaprylic Acid, Hydroxypropionic Acid, Hydroxysuccinic Acid, Mixed Fruit Acid, Monohydroxysuccinic Acid, 2-hydroxypropionic Acid.
Are AHAs Effective for Skin Whitening?
Many women and men with darker skin, especially persons of Asian and African-American origin, often seek out ways of lightening their skin. The darker pigment is caused by melanin. Whilst Alpha Hydroxy Acids can correct discoloration in skin, they cannot effectively lighten your skin. For skin lightening purposes, Alpha Hydroxy Acids are usually combined with other treatments such as hydroquinone, kojic acid and azelaic acid.
Regularly using AHAs in cosmetic doses helps to slow the effects of melanin. This is because AHAs act as an exfoliator, so the top layer of the skin is continually being removed. Stronger concentration AHA Acid Peels (between 50 and 70% concentration) which are administered by a dermatologist or doctor can reduce superficial melasma. TCA peels are more effective skin whitening agents.
Do Alpha Hydroxy Acids Cure Acne?
No. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are effective for treating wrinkles, sun damaged skin and acne scarring since they are only water soluble. Salicylic Acid, the only beta hydroxy acid, is soluble in oil. This means it can penetrate deeper into the pores and clean out the bacteria which causes pimples and blackheads. Some recommend using an over the counter Alpha Hydroxy Acid (a 10% concentration) with Licochalcone as an effective treatment for mild acne. Prescription lotions contain higher levels of concentrations. Ask your dermatologist or doctor which product they recommend depending on your skin type and the extent of your acne. They may recommend salicylic acid instead of AHAs.
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