Comparison of the effectiveness of pyruvic acid and salicylic acid in the treatment of acne

Fariba Jaffary, Gita Faghihi, Sara Saraeian, Sayed Mohsen Hosseini


Background: Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicles and one of the most common skin diseases.The peeling method has been recently found to be effective for acne treatment. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of pyruvic acid 50% and salicylic acid 30% peeling in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. Materials and Methods: In a prospective single?blinded clinical trial, 86 patients with acne were randomly assigned into two groups. In both groups, the routine treatment of acne (topical solution of erythromycin 4%, triclorocarban soap, and sunscreen) were used twice a day for 8 weeks. In addition, salicylic acid 30% for the control group and pyruvic acid 50% for the case group were used. In both groups, acne severity index (ASI) was calculated before and at week 2, 4, 6, and 8 of the treatment. Patient satisfaction was assessed at the end of the treatment. Side effects were recorded using a checklist. Results: In both groups, the reduction in the number of comedones, papules, and ASI were statistically significant (P < 0.001) in the course of treatment. However, it was not significant regarding the number of pustules (P = 0.09). None
of the number of comedone, papules, pustules, and ASI was statistically different between study groups. Both treatment groups had similar side effects except for scaling in the fifth session, which was significantly lower in salicylic acid – treated patients (P = 0.015).Conclusion: Both pyruvic acid 50% and salicylic acid 30% are effective in the improvement of mild to moderate acne with no significant difference in efficacy and side effects.

Key words: Acne vulgaris, peeling, pyruvic acid, salicylic acid

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