Modified Jessner's Solution
The original Jessner’s Chemical Peel, which contains equal parts lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, was first created in the 1940’s by dermatologist, Max Jessner. He discovered that the formulation was reportedly effective against hyperkeratotic epidermal lesions. Since his finding, the formulation has been used in clinical practice to address melasma, acne scarring, and wrinkles.1 Today concerns exist over the safety of resorcinol.2 As such, this component of the original formulation is in less demand, has become less available, and citric acid has taken the place of resorcinol as a complimentary peeling agent.
Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that acts similarly to glycolic acid. Because of its larger molecular structure, it may not penetrate the skin as deeply as glycolic acid. One advantage of this feature, though, is that lactic acid is generally less irritating than glycolic acid.3
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates skin and can improve its texture and color. Salicylic acid works by softening keratin, a protein that forms part of the skin structure. This helps to loosen dry scaly skin making it easier to remove. Salicylic acid peels are suitable for most skin types and are generally well-tolerated, though skin irritation, itching, swelling, and sun sensitivity are possible.4, 5
Citric acid, another alpha hydroxy acid, comes from fruits. The FDA has classified this as a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) substance and is used as a flavoring or pH adjustment agent in the food industry.6 On skin cells, citric acid plays a different role. For example, one study found citric acid to induce collagen I and procollagen II proliferation and was concluded as useful for rejuvenating photo-damaged skin.7 In addition, citric acid at a concentration of 20% can increase the thickness of the epidermis and the amount of glycosaminoglycans in sun-damaged skin. Citric acid has also been found to increase the skin renewal rate and treat sun-damaged skin.8
The higher the concentration and the longer the application duration of the chemical peel, the greater the intensity and peeling effect. For these reasons, Modified Jessner’s Chemical Peels are best administered under professional supervision by a healthcare practitioner.
This preparation is not available commercially. Patients that would benefit from the administration of this preparation may be prescribed this compounded preparation as determined by a prescriber. The most popular formulation compounded at Galleria Medical Pharmacy is Lactic Acid 14% / Salicylic Acid 14% / Citric Acid 8% Solution, though other strengths and versions are also available upon request.
As per FDA regulations, compounds prepared by a pharmacy are not intended for office use (e.g., office stock of a drug that is administered to multiple patients). As such, this preparation requires a prescription, which is then administered to the specified patient by a healthcare practitioner at their practice.
Store this medication at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) and away from heat, moisture and light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Throw away any unused medicine after the beyond use date. Do not flush unused medications or pour down a sink or drain.
- Rendon MI, et al. Evidence and considerations in the application of chemical peels in skin disorders and aesthetic resurfacing. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Jul;3(7):32-43.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 5054, Resorcinol. Retrieved May 6, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Resorcinol.
- Sheau-Chung Tang, Jen-Hung Yang. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin. Molecules. 2018 Apr; 23(4): 863.
- Zander E, Weisman S. Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads. Clin Ther. Mar-Apr 1992;14(2):247-53.
- Tasleem Arif. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8: 455–461.
- Fiume M.M., Heldreth B.A., Bergfeld W.F., Belsito D.V., Hill R.A., Klaassen C.D., Liebler D.C., Marks J.G., Jr., Shank R.C., Slaga T.J., et al. Safety Assessment of Citric Acid, Inorganic Citrate Salts, and Alkyl Citrate Esters as Used in Cosmetics. Int. J. Toxicol. 2014;33(Suppl. S2):16S–46S. doi: 10.1177/1091581814526891. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
- Yamamoto Y., Uede K., Yonei N., Kishioka A., Ohtani T., Furukawa F. Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: The rationale for chemical peeling. J. Dermatol. 2006;33:16–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2006.00003.x. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
- Yu R.J., Van Scott E.J. Alpha-hydroxyacids and carboxylic acids. J. Cosmet. Dermatol. 2004;3:76–87. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00059.x. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
Compounding Pharmacy Statement
This preparation is compounded with drug components whose suppliers are registered with the FDA. While Galleria Medical Pharmacy adheres to USP <795> guidelines and applicable state and federal regulations to meet the required quality standards, the statements made regarding this preparation have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety or clinical effectiveness. As such, this preparation is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For inquiries concerning this preparation, please contact (504) 267-9876.