What is the role of antioxidants in the treatment of polymorphous light eruption (PMLE)?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020
  • Author: Saud A Alobaida, MBBS, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Antioxidants have also been suggested to help prevent PMLE lesions. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study by Hadshiew et al, [52] the efficacy of a new topical formulation was compared with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. The new product contained 0.25% alpha-glucosyl-rutin (a natural, modified flavonoid) and 1% tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E). Thirty patients with a history of PMLE were pretreated with the cream 30 minutes prior to daily photoprovocation with UVA irradiation of 60-100 J/cm2 to the upper arms. The authors found a statistically significant difference (P< .001) between the antioxidant-containing formulations and placebo and between the sunscreen-only formulation. Only a single patient treated with the new antioxidant UV-protective gel formulation developed clinical signs of PMLE in the area treated. In comparison, 62.1% of the placebo-treated areas and 41.3% of the sunscreen-only treated areas showed mild-to-moderate signs of PMLE. The authors suggested that combining a potent antioxidant with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is far more effective in preventing PMLE than sunscreen alone. Also see Sunscreens and Photoprotection.

The use of topical antioxidants like 0.25% alpha-glucosyl-rutin and 1% vitamin E along with a broad-spectrum highly UVA–protective sunscreen was found to be helpful in PMLE patients. [53]

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