What other therapies may be effective for 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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Other therapies like cyclosporine can be helpful, but further studies are needed to determine their benefits. [14]

Interest in the use of thalidomide for a number of dermatoses (eg, Behçet syndrome, cutaneous lupus, porphyria cutanea tarda, PMLE) is reemerging. The immunomodulatory action on subsets of T cells was proposed. Thalidomide (50-200 mg PO qhs) has reportedly been very effective for Native American patients with PMLE. The most commonly described adverse effects with thalidomide are sedation, constipation, and weight gain. The most serious complications of thalidomide therapy are peripheral neuropathy and teratogenicity.

Polypodium leucotomos, a tropical fern extract, was found to be helpful in delaying PMLE symptoms. The dose ranged from 720-1200 mg daily based on weight. It was protective in 30% and 28% of patients for UVA and UVB induced PMLE, respectively. [60, 61]

Afamelanotide helps in symptoms of PMLE by increasing the pigment in the skin, and it could be photoprotective for some patients. [62] Afamelanotide is injected subcutaneously at a dose of 20 mg, with slow release. This leads to increase in melanization in sun-exposed skin.

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