A chance discovery for dermatology
In dermatology the effects of tranexamic acid have been known for a long time, namely in the context of pigment disorders. The first report on the treatment of melasmas with tranexamic acid dates back to 1979, the intensity of a melasma was significantly reduced within a period of two to three weeks.
Melasmas or hyperpigmentations form in a variety of ways. They are triggered by miscellaneous endogenic and exogenous influences such as
- UV radiation of the sunlight
- photosensitization, or in other words, the reduced sensitivity threshold of the skin to light caused by essential oils for instance
- hormonal influences, as for example during pregnancy
- inflammation mediators such as prostaglandins and cytokines (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
- AGE (Advanced Glycation End products), or in other words, products that form in the body due to the reaction of proteins or lipids with carbohydrates; they are held responsible for a variety of health implications
- other deposits of endogenous metabolic products
Tranexamic acid is effective after oral administration and after topical application. A variety of biochemical mechanisms have been discussed, among them the inhibition of tyrosinase and the preceding processes such as the reduction of free arachidonic acid and prostaglandin E2.
Besides the bleaching effect, tranexamic acid also reduces the translucent reddish colour of the superficial blood vessels. The result is an even complexion.