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Salicylic Acid Peel

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Part of the Clinical Approaches and Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology book series (CAPCD,volume 2)


Chemical peels, also known as chemical exfoliation, consist of the application of one or more exfoliating skin agents, leading to the destruction of some layers of the epidermis or dermis, followed by regeneration of the skin. Each patient should be evaluated to decide which exfoliating agent will produce the best outcome with the least morbidity, according to the indication of the chemical peeling, the patient’s lifestyle, the depth of the lesions to be treated, and their skin type. Salicylic acid (SA) is a β-hydroxy acid that is keratolytic in concentrations of 3–5% and facilitates the topical penetration of other agents. In concentrations under 3%, SA has a keratoplastic effect. It is more frequently used in a 20% or 30% concentration alcohol solution and has a low incidence of complications. The mild exfoliation starts 3–5 days after the peel and lasts for up to 10 days. SA is efficient for the treatment of initial photoaging, melasma, acne with or without inflammation, superficial acne scars, and disorders in darker skin phototypes.


  • Salicylic acid
  • Chemical peel
  • Exfoliation
  • Acne
  • Melasma
  • Photoaging

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Correspondence to Maria Paulina Villarejo Kede .

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Kede, M.P.V., Guedes, L.S. (2018). Salicylic Acid Peel. In: Issa, M., Tamura, B. (eds) Chemical and Physical Procedures. Clinical Approaches and Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology, vol 2. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-16804-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-16805-0

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