BACKGROUND: Chemical peeling is a skin-wounding procedure that may have some potentially undesirable side-effects. AIMS: The present study is directed towards safety concerns associated with superficial chemical peeling with salicylic acid in various facial dermatoses. METHODS: The study was a non-comparative and a prospective one. Two hundred and sixty-eight patients of either sex, aged between 10 to 60 years, undergoing superficial chemical peeling for various facial dermatoses (melasma, acne vulgaris, freckles, post-inflammatory scars/pigmentation, actinic keratoses, plane facial warts, etc.) were included in the study. Eight weekly peeling sessions were carried out in each patient. Tolerance to the procedure and any undesirable effects noted during these sessions were recorded.... RESULTS: Almost all the patients tolerated the procedure well. Mild discomfort, burning, irritation and erythema were quite common but the incidence of major side-effects was very low and these too, were easily manageable. There was no significant difference in the incidence of side-effects between facial dermatoses (melasma, acne and other pigmentary disorders). CONCLUSION: Chemical peeling with salicylic acid is a well tolerated and safe treatment modality in many superficial facial dermatoses.