Superficial Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion

  • Rachel Miest


Superficial skin resurfacing is a process causing controlled injury to the epidermis. Processes can be chemical or mechanical and classified as laser or nonlaser. Although our armamentarium for skin resurfacing ranges from topical medicaments to ablative lasers, superficial skin resurfacing with chemical peels and microdermabrasion (MDA) has maintained its popularity. These well-established therapies have proven safe and effective, offer minimal risk, low cost, and are well-tolerated by patients often with little to no post-procedure downtime. Potential benefits extend to all Fitzpatrick skin types and if done appropriately are highly unlikely to cause significant dyspigmentation or scarring. Indications for treatment are acne vulgaris, rosacea, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and photodamage including lentigines, fine rhytides, and actinic keratoses. Superficial resurfacing with chemical peels or MDA can be used in combination with other therapies (e.g., laser) and may enhance the efficacy of other topical treatments. A superficial depth of penetration may be of significant benefit to the patient but does have limitations. It is important for patients to understand the likely need for a series of treatments, the importance of pre- and post-care regimens, and expected outcomes.


Chemical peels Alpha hydroxy acid peels Salicylic acid peels Jessner’s solution (JS) Microdermabrasion 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Miest
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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