Can Chemical Peels Prevent Cancer?

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Can Chemical Peels Prevent Cancer? featured image

An everyday chemical peel like one with glycolic or salicylic acid may help prevent fine lines or breakouts, but a deeper peel may have deeper potential.

An intriguing study published in the Archives of Dermatology compared the outcomes of a 30% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel, CO2 resurfacing, and topical cream fluorouracil to treat precancerous skin lesions. After three months, all patients saw a reduction in the number of actinic keratosis lesions, but those receiving TCA peels experienced a “markedly lower” 40-fold reduction in skin cancer.

While the study demonstrates that TCA peels are effective for treating non-melanoma skin cancers, in order for the peels to work this way would require more aggressive treatment. The ones used in the study require up to two weeks for recovery, and the uppermost layers of skin will likely shed for up to three days.

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