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J Dermatol. 2010 Oct;37(10):864-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2010.00859.x.

Effect of chemical peeling on photocarcinogenesis.

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Division of Dermatology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.


Chemical peeling is one of the dermatological treatments available for certain cutaneous diseases and conditions or improvement of cosmetic appearance of photo-aged skin. We assessed the photo-chemopreventive effect of several clinically used chemical peeling agents on the ultraviolet-irradiated skin of hairless mice. Chemical peeling was done using 35% glycolic acid dissolved in distilled water, 30% salicylic acid in ethanol, and 10% or 35% trichloroacetic acid in distilled water at the right back of ultraviolet-irradiated hairless mice every 2 weeks for glycolic acid, salicylic acid and 10% trichloroacetic acid, and every 4 weeks for 35% trichloroacetic acid for a total of 18 weeks after the establishment of photo-aged mice by irradiation with ultraviolet B range light three times a week for 14 weeks at a total dose of 6.66 J/cm(2) . Tumor formation was assessed every week. Skin specimens were taken from treated and non-treated area for evaluation under microscopy, evaluation of p53 expression and mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase-2. Serum level of prostaglandin E(2) was also evaluated. All types of chemical peeling reduced tumor formation in treated mice, mostly in the treated area but also in the non-treated area. Peeling suppressed retention of p53-positive abnormal cells and reduced mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in treated skin. Further, serum prostaglandin E(2) level was decreased in chemical peeling treated mice. These results indicate that chemical peeling with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid could serve tumor prevention by removing photo-damaged cells.

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