To study and compare the therapeutic efficacy and side effects of a 35% glycolic acid (GA) full face peel alone or in combination with a 10% or 20% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) spot peel for facial melasma.
Thirty patients with facial melasma were randomly divided into 3 equal Groups A, B, and C. Group A was treated with a 35% GA full-face peel, Group B and C with 35% GA full-face peel followed by a 10% and 20% TCA spot peel respectively once every 15 days. Four peels were performed once every 15 days. The response to the treatment was evaluated by the percentage reduction in melasma area severity index (MASI) scoring.
All 3 groups had significant reduction of MASI, but there was no significant difference between the groups. Group A had minimum side effects.
Chemical peels with GA alone or in combination with TCA do result in a significant improvement in melasma, but the combination of the peels in the same sitting does not seem to have any additive or synergistic effect while they may increase the side effects.