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Dermatology. 1997;195(3):248-52.

Suppression of UV-induced erythema by topical treatment with melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine). Influence of the application time point.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In a previous study, we reported a significant and dose-dependent suppression of UV-induced erythema in human skin by a topically applied melatonin preparation.

OBJECTIVE:

The present double-blind randomized study was designed to examine the influence of the application time point of topical melatonin on this antierythema effect.

METHODS:

Defined small areas on the lower back of 20 volunteers were treated with 0.6 mg/cm2 melatonin dissolved in a nanocolloid gel carrier either 15 min before or 1, 30 or 240 min after UV irradiation with twice the individual minimal erythema dose delivered by a Multiport Solar UV Simulator (UVA and UVB). The erythemata induced were evaluated by visual scoring and chromametry 24 h after irradiation.

RESULTS:

Treatment of the skin with melatonin 15 min before UV irradiation proved to almost completely suppress the development of an UV-induced erythema. In contrast, no significant protective effects of melatonin were observed when it was applied after UV irradiation.

CONCLUSION:

Topically applied melatonin has a clear-cut protective effect against UV-induced erythema. Free radical scavenging of UV-generated hydroxyl radicals and interference with the arachidonic acid metabolism are possible mechanisms of the melatonin action.

PMID:
9407172
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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