Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Ailment: Keratosis

Remedy: Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid (hydroxyacetic acid) is used in various skin-care products. When it is applied to the skin, it reacts with the skin on the surface, weakening the binding of the fats and other components that hold the dead skin cells together, enabling a chemical peel. It is therefore used to remove keratoses, and in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and other skin conditions that can benefit from the removal of the surface layer. It is used to improve the skin's appearance and texture, and may reduce wrinkles.

Dermatologists use it as a skin peel in concentrations of 20 to 70%. It can be purchased for home use in lower concentrations of 10 to 50%.

Glycolic acid is a colourless, odourless crystalline solid that is highly soluble in water. It is produced using chemical synthesis, and also can be isolated from natural sugar sources such as sugar cane, sugar beet, pineapple, sweet melons and grapes.

Warning – Glycolic acid is a strong irritant. It is metabolised to oxalic acid, which makes it dangerous if ingested.

Question posted by ARH2 of Sydney, NSW, Australia on 5 August 2010 at 14:30       354

I am 62 years old, and had large areas of seborrheic keratosis on my arms, torso and legs. They looked horrible and I tried several treatments without success. I heard about glycolic acid and decided to give it a go. Bought some on the internet, and diluted it down to 20%. I started with just a small test area. Washed the skin thoroughly, dried it, and then applied the glycolic acid with a cotton swab. I let it dry and left it on. Did this twice a day. At first it stings a little, and then the area turns red. But it works. For the first few days the keratosis will not be a pretty sight. But it starts to heal and a scab crust will eventually fall off, and the skin underneath is much clearer. With the worst keratoses you may need to do it again. I suggest you only do a small area at a time, do not apply to large parts of the body at the same time. All the best.