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May 1958

Effects of Oral Methoxsalen (8-Methoxypsoralen) on Sunburn and Suntan: A Blind Clinical Trial

Author Affiliations

M.P.H.; M.P.H.; Portland, Ore.

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;77(5):503-507. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560050009002


Following the introduction of methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, Oxsoralen, Xanthotoxin) into this country for the treatment of vitiligo,1 there was observed an increased melanin (pigmentation) and tolerance to sunlight in the nondiseased areas of some vitiligo patients taking this drug plus sunlight. This led to preliminary trials of the preparation in subjects with tendency to sunburn and poor tanning. Enthusiastic testimonial evidence was rapidly obtained from users of the material who claimed reduced sunburn and increased tanning. Laboratory and field trials2 indicated that pigmentation responses to sun could be augmented in human subjects with either topical or oral use of this compound. As previously reported, a sunburn or sunburn-like reaction could also be produced.2

That tolerance to sun and capacity to develop a "healthy-looking" tan are associated with various value systems in our culture is confirmed by the many letters received from patients pleading

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