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Ann Dermatol. 2015 Jun;27(3):250-6. doi: 10.5021/ad.2015.27.3.250. Epub 2015 May 29.

Tranexamic Acid Diminishes Laser-Induced Melanogenesis.

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Department of Dermatology, Inje University, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Aesthetic Research Team, Amore Pacific Corporation Research and Development Center, Yongin, Korea.



The treatment of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) remains challenging. Tranexamic acid, a well-known anti-fibrinolytic drug, has recently demonstrated a curative effect towards melasma and ultraviolet-induced PIH in Asian countries. However, the precise mechanism of its inhibitory effect on melanogenesis is not fully understood.


In order to clarify the inhibitory effect of tranexamic acid on PIH, we investigated its effects on mouse melanocytes (i.e., melan-a cells) and human melanocytes.


Melan-a cells and human melanocytes were cultured with fractional CO2 laser-treated keratinocyte-conditioned media. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity were evaluated in cells treated with or without tranexamic acid. Protein levels of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2 were evaluated in melan-a cells. Signaling pathway molecules involved in melanogenesis in melanoma cells were also investigated.


Tranexamic acid-treated melanocytes exhibited reduced melanin content and tyrosinase activity. Tranexamic acid also decreased tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2 protein levels. This inhibitory effect on melanogenesis was considered to be involved in extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathways and subsequently microphthalmia-associated transcription factor degradation.


Tranexamic acid may be an attractive candidate for the treatment of PIH.


Hyperpigmentation; Melanocytes; Tranexamic acid

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