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Henry Ford Hospital


Introduction: Visible light (VL) has been demonstrated to cause dark and sustained pigmentation lasting weeks. This has implications for pigment disorders including postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. The FDA defines sunscreens as broad spectrum if they absorb light between 290nm and 370nm, but this range may be inadequate to prevent VL-induced pigmentation. In this study, an antioxidant product was tested for its ability to mitigate VL-induced pigmentation. Methods: A total of 10 subjects with Fitzpatrick skin phototype IV-VI participated. Sites treated with varying concentrations of a topical antioxidant complex (tocopherol, ascorbic acid, and Diethylhexl syringylidene malonate (DESM)) were compared with untreated control areas. DESM is a photostabilizing product and antioxidant that quenches reactive oxygen species. The antioxidant complex was placed on participants’ backs under occlusion for 1 hour. Following exposure to the product, the back was irradiated with a visible light and UVA1 source for a total dose of 320 J/cm2.2 This dose is comparable to exposure to a few hours of sunlight on cloudless day. Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) scoring, clinical photographs, and colorimetry were performed immediately after irradiation, 24 hours later, and 7 days later. Results: Colorimetry measurements demonstrated that the site that was treated with the highest concentration of the antioxidant complex was significantly lighter immediately after irradiation(p=0.005). At day 7, this trend continued although significance was not reached (p=0.07). Discussion: Melanin synthesis involves oxidation reactions and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These results support the hypothesis that by quenching reactive oxygen species, antioxidant products may mitigate VL-induced pigmentation. These products warrant further investigation as additions to photoprotection and existing treatments for pigmentary disorders.

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Improving Sun Protection