Kojic acid is a naturally occurring substance that many around the world have started to use to treat skin conditions like age spots, as well as other dermatological issues. However, even though kojic acid is naturally derived from a type of fungus, its long term use is somewhat controversial. There are a number of risks and benefits related to using kojic acid. Here are some of the pros and cons for this type of skin treatment.

Pros of Kojic Acid

  • Effective in Changing Skin Tone - Many patients have reported skin lightening with kojic acid. This kind of substance is also used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, where the patient has patches of skin that are much lighter than their other skin areas. Kojic acid has been shown to be helpful in treating this condition, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for those who have it.
  • Treats Acne - Kojic acid products have helped many individuals deal with acne. This skin condition is common, especially among young people. The naturally occurring kojic acid can be something that acne responds to positively, and an alternative to harsher or more stringent chemicals found in many modern acne treatments.
  • Helps with Melasma - Another skin condition called melasma includes skin discoloration that may be caused by taking various pregnancy drugs or hormones, or by hereditary conditions. With melasma, the patient develops dark and irregular patches on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and forehead over a period of time. Kojic acid has been used to treat this condition.

Cons of Kojic Acid

  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis - Scientists have found that in some cases, long-term use of kojic acid can lead to a condition called allergic contact dermatitis, a specific kind of skin sensitivity that can cause discomfort. This permanent side effect is something that has been linked to kojic acid in some individuals.
  • Unintended Skin Tone Changes - There have also been reports that kojic acid use can change the skin in ways that patients did not intend. One side effect that has been reported with kojic acid is a bluish discoloration of the skin in some patients. This is something to be aware of when considering kojic acid product as a skin treatment option.
  • Thyroid Changes - According to some new studies, kojic acid has been linked to thyroid changes and other internal patterns. Those who are concerned may want to look at the history of animal testing of kojic acid.
  • Oxidization - Scientists have also found that kojic acid oxidizes rather quickly when exposed to air. Other chemical elements can provide more long term integrity without oxidization.

Think about some of the above reported side effects and risks of kojic acid use and consult a qualified dermatology specialist before starting out with kojic acid product treatments for the removal of natural signs of aging or age spots.