Oral polypodium leucotomos extract photoprotective activity in 57 patients with idiopathic photodermatoses

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Apr;146(2):85-7.


Aim: Idiopathic photodermatoses (IP) are a recurrent, acquired sunlight-induced rash of delayed onset, appearing after exposure to ultraviolet radiation in susceptible individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the photoprotective activity of polypodium leucotomos (PL) in IP.

Methods: Fifty-seven patients affected by IP were recruited for the study (53 with polymorphic light eruption and 4 with solar urticaria). The use of UV protection filters or other drugs that could in some way interfere with exposure to light were excluded. All patients exposed themselves to sunlight while consuming 480 mg/day of PL extract orally. A statistical evaluation of the basal clinical conditions compared to those after sunlight exposure with PL was performed.

Results: About 73.68% of the patients had a benefit from the administered PL, with a significant reduction of skin reaction and subjective symptoms. No side effects were observed. Results were statistically significant (P<0.05).

Conclusion: PL complete absence of toxicity combined with its multifactorial protection, makes it an effective and safe treatment for photoprotection in IP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / etiology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polypodium*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Plant Extracts