Acne vulgaris is an extremely common condition affecting the pilosebaceous unit of the skin and characterized by presence of comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts, which might result in permanent scars. Acne vulgaris commonly involve adolescents and young age groups. Active acne vulgaris is usually associated with several complications like hyper or hypopigmentation, scar formation and skin disfigurement. Previous studies have targeted the efficiency and safety of local and systemic agents in the treatment of active acne vulgaris. Superficial chemical peeling is a skin-wounding procedure which might cause some potentially undesirable adverse events. This study was conducted to review the efficacy and safety of superficial chemical peeling in the treatment of active acne vulgaris. It is a structured review of an earlier seven articles meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The clinical assessments were based on pretreatment and post-treatment comparisons and the role of superficial chemical peeling in reduction of papules, pustules and comedones in active acne vulgaris. This study showed that almost all patients tolerated well the chemical peeling procedures despite a mild discomfort, burning, irritation and erythema have been reported; also the incidence of major adverse events was very low and easily manageable. In conclusion, chemical peeling with glycolic acid is a well-tolerated and safe treatment modality in active acne vulgaris while salicylic acid peels is a more convenient for treatment of darker skin patients and it showed significant and earlier improvement than glycolic acid.
Al-Talib H, Al-Khateeb A, Hameed A, Murugaiah C