Answer: Pop quiz #18

Pop Quiz Melasma

Correct Answer: A. Trichloroacetic acid 10-25%

Indications for superficial chemical peels include melasma (shown in picture). This patient has darker skin. Superficial chemical peels can be used in all Fitzpatrick skin types. Tricholoracetic acid (TCA) 10-25%, Jessner’s solution, and Glycolic acid 20-70% are the best three superficial peel options for treatment of melasma. Baker Gordon Peel is a deep chemical peel, not for use in darker skin types. TCA 35% is a medium depth peel. One coat (not 3 coats) can be considered a superficial peel. Medium depth peels have a higher risk for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation in darker skin types. TCA 50% and TCA 35% + Jessner’s solution are medium depth peels.


Landau M and Ghannam S. Chemical Peels ch 25 in Surgery of the Skin, 3rd ed. Editor: Robinson J. Elsevier 2015. pp 393-408.

Kingsley M, Metelitsa AI, Somani A. Chemical Peels ch 49 in Comprehensive Dermatologic Drug Therapy, 3rd ed. Editor: Wolverton S. Elsevier 2013. pp 579-583.e1

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