Phenol Peels Show Benefit in Treating Skin Conditions

Treatment led to complete response in most cases of actinic keratosis, Bowen disease

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Phenol peels may be effective in treating actinic keratosis and Bowen disease, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Chikako Kaminaka, M.D., of the Wakayama Medical University in Japan, and colleagues analyzed data from 32 patients with actinic keratosis and 14 with Bowen disease, which are types of intraepidermal skin tumors that are risk factors for invasive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Phenol peels were applied once monthly for up to eight months. Treatment ended when a lesion showed a complete response for at least one year. If the disease progressed during follow-up, lesions were surgically removed.

Of the 46 patients, 39 (84.8 percent) showed complete response, of whom 29 were actinic keratosis patients and 10 were Bowen disease patients. The remaining cases were categorized as progressive disease. Of the complete response group, 17 needed one to two treatments, 15 needed three to five treatments, and seven needed six to eight treatments.

"When comparing noninvasive therapies with standard surgical ones, one can easily accept that phenol peels have several advantages from the viewpoints of procedural ease, time efficiency, special equipment, therapeutic costs, pain control, and posttreatment follow-up. Moreover, chemical peels can be applied repeatedly at frequent intervals. However, a standardized technique for phenol peeling is not completely accepted," the authors write.

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