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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The treatment of melasma by silymarin cream

Tagreed Altaei

Author affiliations

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Hawler Medical University, Erbil City, Kurdistan, Iraq

Citation and License

BMC Dermatology 2012, 12:18  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-12-18

Published: 2 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Melasma is an acquired increased pigmentation of the skin characterized by symmetrical and confluent grey-brown patches usually on the areas of the face exposed to the sun. Silymarin strongly prevents photocarcinogenesis, and significantly prevented melanin production. The objectives of this study were the assessment of safety and efficacy of topical Silymain (SM) cream in a double-blind placebo controlled study for treatment of melasma patients.

Methods

Experimentally on 24 Albino rabbits were randomly divided into 4 equal groups. [A] No treatment, [B] received placebo, [C] treated with SM cream (0.1), & [D] treated by SM (0.2), were applied topically before UV sun light exposure for 30 days, assessed clinically & tissue pathology. Clinically on 96 adults diagnosed with melasma randomized to three equal groups to receive one of the tested drugs applied twice daily for 4 weeks, evaluated by the response; lesion size, melasma area and severity index score, Physician global assessment, and subjective assessment.

Results

The Clinical and histopathology observations were reduced significantly in SM groups. Clinically; all patients showed significant excellent pigment improvement & lesion size reduction with SM treatments from the 1st week. All patients were fully satisfied 100%. No side effects were observed.

Conclusions

Silymarin showed tremendous improvement of melasma in a dose-dependent manner, and was effective in prevention of skin damage caused by U.V. sunlight. It is a safe new candidate effective treatment for melasma.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry - ACTRN12612000602820

Keywords:
Silymarin; Melasma; Sunlight