Indian Journal of Dermatology
: 2013  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-

A comment on: "Update on photoprotection"

Prasan R Bhandari 
 Department of pharmacology, S. D. M. College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prasan R Bhandari
Department of pharmacology, S. D. M. College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Bhandari PR. A comment on: "Update on photoprotection".Indian J Dermatol 2013;58:145-145

How to cite this URL:
Bhandari PR. A comment on: "Update on photoprotection". Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Apr 12 ];58:145-145
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I thank and commend the authors Rai et al, of the article titled "Update on photoprotection" for having brought a comprehensive update on photoprotection. [1]

The authors in the article have made the following statements:

"Antioxidants that are used in sunscreens and cosmetic products are vitamins and polyphenols. Vitamins formulated in sunscreens are water soluble vitamin C and lipophilic vitamin E".

The authors have included silymarin and green tea polyphenols as agents for secondary photoprotection.

In lieu of the above it could be stated that polyphenols are a large family of naturally occurring plant products and are widely distributed in plant foods, such as, fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers, bark and seeds, etc. These polyphenols provide to the beneficial health effects of dietary products. There has been pronounced interest in the usage of dietary agents that are derived from plants for the photoprotection of the skin, including their use to reduce the risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. [2] Dietary botanicals, possessing anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti-oxidant properties are among the most promising group of compounds that can be exploited as ideal chemopreventive agents for skin diseases. Among the botanical agents that have been acknowledged as having prospective chemopreventive activities are retinoids, green tea polyphenols, grape seed proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, and curcumin. [3] Additionally, pomegranate extracts obtained from various parts of the fruit Punica granatum, such as the juice, seed, and peel; in particular, the phenolic components have powerful antioxidant activity. Topical application of fruit extract has been shown to ameliorate ultraviolet-A- and -B-mediated skin damages in vitro. [4] Moreover sesame oil resists 30% of ultraviolet (UV) rays, while coconut, peanut, olive, and cottonseed oils block out about 20%. [5]

These chemopreventive agents prevent UVB-induced immunosuppression and photocarcinogenesis through: (i) The stimulation of immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-12; (ii) IL-12-dependent DNA repair; and (iii) Induction of cytotoxic T cells in the tumor microenvironment. This information regarding the mechanisms of action of these agents supports their potential use as adjuncts in skin photoprotection and prevention of photocarcinogenesis. [6]

Moreover, as far as skin is concerned, most skin care lotions or sunscreens are applied topically on the skin for health benefits. This indicates that skin has the ability to consume its nutrition through topical application of nutrients. Therefore, it is important to mention that nutrition for the skin can be provided through both oral and topical administration.

The botanical agents proved to be effective in the animal models whether administered in the drinking water, as dietary supplements, or topically, depending on the nature of the agent. The supplementation of the use of sunscreens with these dietary agents may provide an effective strategy for the prevention of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in humans. The dietary botanical agents are considered to be non-toxic and pharmacologically safe for human consumption. Clinical trials are needed to validate the preventive and therapeutic medicinal value of these dietary agents, either alone or in combination with existing therapies for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, in high-risk human populations.

Based on the evidence of laboratory studies conducted using in vitro and in vivo systems, it is suggested that routine consumption or topical treatment of these polyphenols may provide efficient protection against the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation in humans.


1Rai R, Shanmuga SC, Srinivas CR. Update on photoprotection. Indian J Dermatol 2012;57:335-42.
2Afaq F, Katiyar SK. Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis. Mini Rev Med Chem 2011;11:1200-15.
3Baliga MS, Katiyar SK. Chemoprevention of photocarcinogenesis by selected dietary botanicals. Photochem Photobiol Sci 2006;5:243-53.
4Aslam MN, Lansky EP, Varani J. Pomegranate as a cosmeceutical source: Pomegranate fractions promote proliferation and procollagen synthesis and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in human skin cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;103:311-8.
5Koraæ RR, Khambholja KM. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacogn Rev 2011;5:164-73.
6Nichols JA, Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms. Arch Dermatol Res 2010;302:71-83.