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Comparative study of the effect of 50% pyruvic and 30% salicylic peels on the skin lipid film in patients with acne vulgaris



Pyruvic (alfa-keto acid) and salicylic (beta-hydroxy acid) acids are superficial peels frequently used in patients with acne vulgaris.


The aim of the study was to compare the effect of 50% pyruvic and 30% salicylic peels on facial sebum secretion in patients with acne vulgaris, aged 13–30.

Material and methods

The level of secreted sebum was determined in 20 men and women. Ten patients were treated with 50% pyruvic acid and the remaining 10 with 30% salicylic acid. Each peel was applied five times at 2-week intervals. The sebum measurements were taken in the T- and U-zones using a Sebumeter SM 815 (Courage & Khazaka, Germany). The last, sixth measurement was taken 2 weeks after the treatment.


A statistically significant decrease in the level of secreted sebum in both U- and T- zones was observed in the patients studied after the third application of 50% pyruvic peel and the second application of 30% salicylic peel. Two weeks following the completion of therapy, sebumetric measurements demonstrated a greater reduction in the facial skin lipid film among the patients treated with salicylic peel.


Peels with 50% pyruvic acid and 30% salicylic acid are the procedures that significantly contributed to a decrease in the level of secreted sebum on the facial skin surface in the group of patients studied. A greater therapeutic effect was observed following 30% salicylic peel, which might be associated with its high lipophilic properties and easier penetration through the lipid barriers of the epidermis.