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Dermatology. 2005;211(4):360-2.

Topical methimazole as a new treatment for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: report of the first case.

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  • 1Jahrom School of Medical Sciences, Jahrom, Iran.


We have previously shown that the peroxidase inhibitor methimazole (1-methyl-2-mercapto imidazole; MMI) is a noncytotoxic inhibitor of melanin production in cultured B16 melanocytes. It was further demonstrated that the topical application of 5% MMI on brown guinea pig skin for 6 weeks causes a significant reduction in the amount of epidermal melanin, resulting in visually recognizable cutaneous depigmentation. Herein, we report a 27-year-old male with postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (due to acid burn), successfully treated with topical MMI as a new skin depigmenting agent. Topical 5% MMI caused a moderate to marked improvement of the hyperpigmented lesions within 6 weeks of once-daily application. Topical MMI was well tolerated by the patient and did not affect the level of serum thyroid hormones (free thyroxin, free triiodothyronine and the thyroid-stimulating hormone). Unlike most known depigmenting agents, such as hydroquinone and kojic acid, MMI is a noncytotoxic, nonmutagenic compound, and it is possible that MMI could serve as a novel agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentary disorders in human.

Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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