Chemical Peels (Light / Superficial Peels)

What Is It?

Light or superficial peels only affect the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis). Light peels can therefore only be used in the treatment of very shallow scars, and normally do not produce perceptible results. When chemical peels are applied on the skin, a controlled wound healing process occurs which might improve the appearance of the acne scar by stimulating the skin to produce more collagen and elastin.

Good or Excellent Response

Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
31% of patients achieved a good (>50%) or excellent (>75%) improvement in scarring after 4 - 7 sessions

Moderate Response

Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
59% of patients achieved at least a moderate (>25%) improvement in scarring after 4 - 7 sessions
  1. Rafique, S. et al. Clinical efficacy of salicylic acid (20%) and glycolic acid (35%) peel in post acne scarring; randomized controlled trials. Latin American Journal of Pharmacy 39, 1139–1143 (2020).
  2. Saadawi, A. N., Esawy, A. M., Kandeel, A. H. & El-Sayed, W. Microneedling by dermapen and glycolic acid peel for the treatment of acne scars: comparative study. J Cosmet Dermatol 18, 107–114 (2019).
  3. Ali, B., ElMahdy, N. & Elfar, N. N. Microneedling (Dermapen) and Jessner’s solution peeling in treatment of atrophic acne scars: a comparative randomized clinical study. J Cosmet Laser Ther 21, 357–363 (2019).
  4. Vora, D., Damor, N., Thakkar, J. & Madhuliya, R. A comparative study of PRP (platelet rich plasma) vs 35% GA peel in acne scarring. Int J Res Med 7, 54–56 (2018).
  5. Purohit, S., Meena, R. S., Bargujar, B. & Kumar, A. Glycolic acid peels versus salicylic acid peels in atrophic acne scars: a randomized comparative study. International Multispecialty Journal of Health 2, (2016).
  6. Dalpizzol, M., Weber, M. B., Mattiazzi, A. P. F. & Manzoni, A. P. D. Comparative study of the use of trichloroacetic acid and phenolic acid in the treatment of atrophic-type acne scars. Dermatol Surg 42, 377–383 (2016).
  7. Puri, N. Efficacy of modified Jessner’s peel and 20% TCA versus 20% TCA peel alone for the treatment of acne scars. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 8, 42–45 (2015).
  8. El Refaei, A. E., Salam, H. A. & Sorour, N. Salicylic–mandelic acid versus glycolic acid peels in Egyptian patients with acne vulgaris. Journal of the Egyptian Women’s Dermatologic Society 12, 196–202 (2015).
  9. Sachdeva, S. Lactic acid peeling in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin. J Cosmet Dermatol 9, 246–248 (2010).
  10. Garg, V. K., Sinha, S. & Sarkar, R. Glycolic acid peels versus salicylic-mandelic acid peels in active acne vulgaris and post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation: a comparative study. Dermatol Surg 35, 59–65 (2009).

Side Effects

Low-Medium
Low-medium side effects and adverse reactions

Reviews

3.6
66 Reviews