The topical application of acids is one of the most dependable and widely recognized methods of improving the overall health and appearance of the skin. The goal of a chemical peel is to regulate and enhance the cellular turnover process—a complex system that ultimately leads to the shedding of cornified cells. In addition to maintaining healthy cell turnover rates, each of the most commonly used topical acids provides ancillary benefits. Numerous studies have shown that all chemical peel solutions stimulate collagen and glycosaminoglycan production, regardless of depth of penetration (Eskild, Hansson, & Blomhoff, 1994). Other modalities have also gained popularity and many of them may be successfully combined with chemical peels to create dramatic, visible results in the skin. By outlining a variety of chemoexfoliants, as well as some popular modalities, the clinician will gain a deeper understanding of the wide variety of combination therapies available for improving skin health.
Jennifer Linder, MD, is a dermatologist and Mohs micrographic skin surgeon, serving as CSO for PCA SKIN. She holds a clinical faculty position in the Department of Dermatology at University of California San Francisco, is a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation, and is a member of the AAD, the ASDS, and the ACMMSCO.
Address correspondence to Jennifer Linder, MD, 6710 E. Camelback Road, Suite 220, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (e-mail: email@example.com).
The author reports no conflicts of interest.