Background: The incidences of idiopathic photodermatoses (IP) are increasing and the available therapeutic methods are often inadequate.
Aim: To evaluate whether, in subjects affected by IP not responding to the usual available therapies, the oral administration of an extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PL) could provide an effective photoprotective activity.
Methods: 26 patients with polymorphic light eruption and two with solar urticaria were recruited to enter the study. The protocol excluded the use of ultraviolet protection filters or other drugs that could in some way interfere with exposure to light. All patients exposed themselves to sunlight while consuming 480 mg/day of PL orally. The response of the skin to sunlight exposure of 25 evaluable patients was compared with that occurring previously without administration of PL.
Results: With PL, we observed a relevant and statistically significant reduction of skin reaction and subjective symptoms. The tolerance of the drug has been excellent.
Conclusion: PL extract administration has shown to be an effective and safe method, leading to a significant protection of skin in IP.