Chemical peeling is a widely used procedure in the management of acne and acne scars, but there are very few studies on Asian populations who are more prone to develop hyper pigmentation. This article aims to summarize and evaluate the existing studies on the role of chemical peels in the treatment of acne and acne scars among Asians. An online search was conducted to identify prospective studies published in English that evaluated the use of chemical peels in active acne and acne scars in Asian populations. There were six studies for acne and eight studies for acne scars that were identified using our search parameters. Most were single-centre, open label and with small sample sizes. Acne severity was not uniformly reported and the objective outcome measures of some studies were not explicitly reported as well. The general trend of the results of the studies support the safety and efficacy of chemical peels for acne and acne scars including those of darker skin types. The existing studies support the use of chemical peels in the treatment of acne and acne scars in Asians. Further clinical trials with better study design and more subjects are needed to further establish the role of chemical peels in Asian acne patients.
Keywords: Acne; acne scars; asians; chemical peel; glycolic acid; salicylic acid; trichloroacetic acid.