Oral Polypodium leucotomos extract and its impact on visible light–induced pigmentation.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Am Acad Dermatol


Background: Visible light has multiple effects on the skin including erythema, DNA damage secondary to free radical production, and pigmentation. Few sunscreens protect against visible light, which can exacerbate photodermatoses. Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) has antioxidant, photoprotective, chemoprotective, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties that may offer protection against visible light induced effects.

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of PLE in preventing visible light–induced pigmentation.

Methods: 20 subjects with Fitzpatrick SPT IV-VI have been completed. On day 0, subjects were irradiated with visible light. Evaluation occurred immediately, 24 hours, and 7 days after irradiation. Subjects then received a 28 day supply of PLE. Irradiation and evaluation were repeated on days 35, 36, and 42. Pigmentation was assessed by investigator’s global assessment, clinical photography, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and biopsies.

Results: All subjects had an immediate pigment darkening (IPD), persistent pigment darkening (PPD), and delayed tanning (DT) response both before and after PLE. However, at a dose of 480 J/cm 2 , there was a statistically significant decrease in PPD and DT after administration of PLE based on spectroscopy. There was a trend toward a decrease in the markers for oxidative damage and inflammation after administration of PLE.

Conclusions: Spectroscopic assessments and histology indicate an effect of PLE on visible light induced pigmentation and cellular damage. This has important implications for the improvement of photoprotection and prevention of cutaneous malignancies.





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