"Higher depigmenting efficacy compared to hydroquinone"

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IPCC 2017, the 23rd International Pigment Cell Conference, August 26-30, 2017 in Denver Colorado

Dr. Behrooz Kasraee presented results on cysteamine research at the IPCC 2017, the 23rd International Pigment Cell Conference, August 26-30, 2017 in Denver Colorado

Deodorized cysteamine* as a depigmenting agent for the treatment of melasma: Results of in vitro, in vivo and human studies

Cysteamine is known for its potent depigmenting effect since 1960’s when Chavin tested it through injecting cysteamine into the black goldfish skin. A few years later, different in vivo studies showed the higher depigmenting efficacy of this molecule compared to hydroquinone. However, cysteamine has never been utilizable in human mainly due to the very offensive odour it produced in topical products. Recently, we have developed a new technology to deodorize cysteamine. Cysteamine thus became utilizable for the first time in a topical product. Deodorized cysteamine showed a significant melanogenesis inhibiting effect in different in vitro and in vivo models. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized human study in 50 patients with epidermal melasma showed the significant efficacy of deodorized cysteamine for the treatment of this hyperpigmentary disorder. Cysteamine is biologically produced in mammalian cells and serves as an intracellular anti- oxidant. This molecule has been orally used in human, mainly for the treatment of cystinosis, and has a long history of safety for human use. The anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic effects of cysteamine are previously shown in numerous studies. Deodorized cysteamine might serve as a new safe and effective skin depigmenting agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentary disorders such as melasma.

* beta-mercaptoethylamine hydrochloride (MEA) is the chemical name of cysteamine. For facility of reading, the name "beta-mercaptoethylamine" is replaced by "cysteamine."

Access abstract publication: Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2017;30:e27–e137