Skip to Content

Acne: Treatment With Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid (for example, Alpha Hydrox) are often used in products to treatacne. These products work by drying upwhiteheads, blackheads, andpimplesand 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 skinfrom the sun and other sources of UV light.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerEllen K. Roh, MD - Dermatology

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Health Library