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J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2011 Oct;4(10):40-8.

Tolerability and Efficacy of Retinoic Acid Given after Full-face Peel Treatment of Photodamaged Skin.



All-trans retinoic acid is a well-established topical treatment of photodamaged skin. This study assessed the tolerance and efficacy of all-trans retinoic acid after full-face treatment with a chemical peel.


This was a split-face, randomized study. One side of each face was treated with peel and the other side with peel and all-trans retinoic acid (3%). Four treatments were given during the 10-week study period.


Physician office.


Fifteen female subjects 39 to 55 years of age.


RESULTS were evaluated at Baseline; Weeks 4, 7, and 10; and at a 13-week follow-up visit by dermal grading of visual symptoms of irritation, subjective experiences of irritation, clinical grading of skin condition, and self-assessment questionnaires.


Both peel and peel plus all-trans retinoic acid treatments achieved significant improvement in fine lines, radiance, roughness, skin tone clarity, skin tone evenness, and hyperpigmentation appearance. Improvement in wrinkles and firmness was not observed in the peel plus all-trans retinoic acid arm, while pore appearance failed to improve in either treatment arm. Improvement in overall facial appearance was greater in the peel alone arm. Peel alone and the addition of all-trans retinoic acid did not cause dryness, edema, or peeling, and the frequency of peel-induced erythema did not increase with the addition of all-trans retinoic acid. Subject-perceived improvements with the peel treatment did not differ significantly from subject-perceived improvements of the peel plus all-trans retinoic acid treatment. Adverse events requiring intervention or discontinuing treatment were not observed in either treatment arm.


The addition of all-trans retinoic acid after peel treatment does not significantly enhance peel-induced improvement in photoaging parameters, peel-induced adverse effects, and subject-perceived improvements.


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