Ital J Dermatol Venerol. 2022 Jun;157(3):262-269. doi: 10.23736/S2784-8671.22.07152-3.
BACKGROUND: Melasma is present in 40% of cases in Southeast Asia. The condition is often unresponsive to therapy; treatment has variable success rates, and melasma has high recurrence rates. Lycopene-rich tomato extract is needed to avoid oxidative stress due to ultraviolet rays that cause melasma through the melanogenesis pathway. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an oral tomato extract supplement as an adjuvant for melasma therapy.
METHODS: The study recruited 62 subjects with melasma to a true-experimental clinic with a double-blind, randomized, pre and post-test control design over 12 weeks at the Diponegoro National Hospital, Indonesia. The subjects received an oral tomato extract supplement contains lycopene 30 mg (placebo). All subjects applied topical sunscreen and hydroquinone-4%-cream. Subjects were assessed by superoxide dismutase (SOD) and melasma area and severity index (MASI).
RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients completed the research. The serum SOD levels in the treatment group (tomato extract supplementation) were higher than in the control group given the placebo, with delta SOD (P<0.05). The difference in MASI Scores after therapy in the treatment group had a significant decrease compared to the control group, with statistical review results suggesting that the difference was significant (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation of tomato extract as an adjuvant therapy can increase serum SOD levels and improve melasma severity.