Melanizing agents

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Melanizing agents are drugs that increase sensitivity to solar radiation and promote re-pigmentation of de-pigmented areas of skin. Furocoumarins stimulate melanocytes and induce their proliferation on activation by light. Melanizing agents sensitize the skin to sunlight. As a result, erythema, inflammation and pigmentation occurs.


Psoralen is a natural drug obtained from the fruit of Psoralea corylifolia.[1] Methoxsalen [2] and Trioxsalen [3] are synthetic psoralens. These drugs can be used either topically or orally.

Topical therapy[edit]

The drug solution is painted on the vitiliginous lesion and exposed to sunlight for around one minute. It is then occluded by a sunscreen ointment. The treatment should be undertaken for many weeks to obtain observable results. Longer exposure to sunlight might cause blistering of skin, so the therapy should be undertaken in the direct supervision of a physician.[4]

Oral therapy[edit]

It is done in alternate days. After 2 hours of taking the oral dose of 20 mg/day of a psoralen, skin is exposed to sunlight. Eyes, ears and other normally pigmented areas should be protected while spending time in the sun.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of Psoralen". The Free Medical Dictionary. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Definition of Methoxsalen". The Free Medical Dictionary. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Definition of Trioxsalen". Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  4. ^ Tripathi, J.D. Melanizing agents. Jaypee Publications. ISBN 81-8448-085-7.
  5. ^ Parrish, John. "Photochemotherapy of Vitilago". Archives of Dermatology. JAMA Network.