Expert Opinion: Efficacy of superficial chemical peels in active acne management – what can we learn from the literature today? Evidence-based recommendations

Authors


  • Conflict of interest
    Pr Dreno, Dr Fischer, Dr Perosino and Dr Poli have served on an advisory board for LaRoche-Posay and have each received honoraria for their service. Dr Sanchez-Viera has served on an advisory board and as a speaker for LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria and grants for this service. Dr Rendon has served as an advisor, speaker and investigator for LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria for these serves; Dr Rendon has also served as a consultant for NeoStrata and SkinMedia, receiving honoraria for these services. Dr Berson has served as an advisory board member for Galderma, Medicis, Allergan, Stiefel, Dusa, Ortho-Neutrogena and LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria for these services. Dr Cohen has served as consultant and investigator for Allergan, Medicis, Merck, Obagi, L’Oreal, Dusa and Biogene and has received grants and honoraria for these services. Dr Robers has served as a consultant to Allergan, Bioform, L’Oreal and Sanofi and an Advisor to Cosmetic Bookgroup, Ortho Dermatology and Sanofi and an investigator for LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria for these services. Dr Starker has served as an advisory board member for LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria for these services. Dr Wang has served as an advisory board member for LaRoche-Posay and has received honoraria for these services.

  • Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from L’Oreal.

  • There has been no prior presentation of this material.

Professeur B Dréno. E-mail:brigitte.dreno@wanadoo.fr

Abstract

Background  Superficial chemical peels offer therapeutic results in a convenient, affordable treatment. Many clinicians use these peels in the treatment of acne and acne-prone oily skin.

Objectives  This article examines the evidence base that supports the widespread use of superficial peels in this setting.

Methods  A search of the English language medical literature was performed to identify clinical trials that formally evaluated the use of chemical peeling in active acne.

Results  Search of the literature revealed very few clinical trials of peels in acne (N = 13); a majority of these trials included small numbers of patients, were not controlled and were open label. The evidence that is available does support the use of chemical peels in acne as all trials had generally favourable results despite differences in assessments, treatment regimens and patient populations. Notably, no studies of chemical peels have used an acne medication as a comparator. As not every publication specified whether or not concomitant acne medications were allowed, it is hard to evaluate clearly how many of the studies evaluated the effect of peeling alone. This may be appropriate, however, given that few clinicians would use superficial chemical peels as the sole treatment for acne except in rare instances where a patient could not tolerate other treatment modalities.

Conclusions  In the future, further study is needed to determine the best use of chemical peels in this indication.

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