Chemical peeling is a process wherein one or more chemical agents are applied to the skin. It causes partial destruction of the epidermis or dermis with exfoliation or desquamation followed by resurfacing of the epidermis and remodeling of the collagen and elastic fibers. It is a type of controlled cosmetic chemical burn which is one of the treatments for acne and post-acne pigmentation. Post-acne hyperpigmentation (PAH) is very common in acne patients which can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in dark skin types which affects both men and women equally. Many studies have been conducted for post-acne pigmentation by combining chemical peeling with lasers or with topical medications. Only a few studies have reported the efficacy of chemical peeling alone in the treatment of post-acne pigmentation. Thus, this review focuses on the efficacy of glycolic and salicylic acid chemical peels used in the management of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
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