Authors: Khriz Anne G. Angbengco, MD, Mary Angela Ticzon-Calleja, MD, FPDS


Introduction: Dark-skinned women have higher risk for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Axillary skin is considered as one of the sensitive areas prone to skin damage and pigmentation. Treatment for axillary hyperpigmentation has remained challenging as no standard treatment is available.

Objective: In a double-blind, randomized, crossover trial we sought to determine the efficacy of sunflower seed oil compared to mineral oil in reducing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the axillae in adult Filipinos.

Research Design and Methods: Sixty-four women aged 19-40 years with Fitzpatrick skin type III-IV were entered into this trial. Fifty-three patients completed the protocol and underwent double-blind randomization to either mineral oil for 12 weeks followed by sunflower seed oil for 12 weeks, with a 4-week wash out period in between (Group A)(n=34), or group B (n=31) in reverse order. Therapeutic response based on patient and investigator’s subjective assessment of skin pigmentation, melanin and erythema indices by mexameter-18, therapeutic safety were identified at baseline, weeks 12, 16 and 28.

Results: Melanin and erythema scores significantly decreased to 258.72 + 14.93 and 281.65 + 14.07 (p < 0.001) after sunflower seed oil compared to baseline 283.43 + 14.44 and 281.65 + 14.07 (p < 0.001) for both groups A and B , respectively. Three patients experienced erythema, burning and pruritus and were considered as drop-out.

Conclusion: Sunflower seed oil is effective in reducing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the axillae.



post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, axillae, sunflower seed oil, narrowband
spectrophotometer, mexameter-18



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