Treatment of Active Acne Vulgaris by Chemical Peeling Using TCA 35%


Background: The pathogenesis of acne vulgaris is multifactorial, and therapy can be directed at many of these factors, singly or in combination. There are different modalities of treatment of active acne vulgaris but they are often long lasting which could not be accepted by many patients. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness, long term efficacy and safety of chemical peeling using 35% TCA solution in the treatment of active acne vulgaris. Patients and Methods:This clinical, interventional, therapeutic study was done at the Department of Dermatology—Baghdad Teaching Hospital during the period from January 2012 to March 2013. Eighteen patients with active acne vulgaris were included in this study, 10 (55.6%) females and 8 (44.4%) males. Their ages ranged from 15 to 35 (21.56 ± 5.501) years. Twelve patients were associated with acne scars. History and dermatological examination were performed for all patients regarding all demographic points related to the disease. Chemical peeling with 35% TCA used one session regarding active acne vulgaris and three sessions in patients with associated scarring. Scoring for active acne vulgaris and acne scar was done for each case before and after peeling to evaluate the severity of acne lesions and scarring. All patients were with Fitzpatrick’s skin types III and IV. Patients were followed up every two weeks for 12 weeks after starting therapy and every 4 weeks for 12 weeks after stopping the treatment to watch improvement, side effects and relapse. Results: Scoring for active acne vulgaris including papules and pustules showed highly statistically significant reduction after 2 weeks of therapy (p < 0.0001), while in the acne scar scoring reduction ranged from 26% to 50% in 2 patients and 50% to 75% in 2 patients while more than 75% in 8 patients were with statistically significant reduction (p = 0.000002). All patients had full satisfaction with the results of operation. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation was observed in two patients few weeks after peeling but follow-up showed complete clearance of pigmentation with lightening and tightening of skin. No relapse of active lesion was recorded after twelve weeks follow-up. Conclusions: Chemical peeling by TCA 35% is a cost-effective mode of therapy for active acne vulgaris and acne scar with low down time in patients with dark complexion.

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K. Sharquie, A. Noaimi and E. Al-Janabi, "Treatment of Active Acne Vulgaris by Chemical Peeling Using TCA 35%," Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 3B, 2013, pp. 32-35. doi: 10.4236/jcdsa.2013.33A2008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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