Section : Conference Notes

Cysteamine cream as a new skin depigmenting agent

Presented at the following Scientific Meeting:

National Skin Centre (NSC) Dermatology Update, Singapore, 12-13 May 2012

Hsu.C. 1, Pourahmadi M.2, Ahmadi S. 2, Ali Mahdi H. 3.

1:Centre Medical du Lignon, Geneva, Switzerland.

2: Jahrom University Medical school, Jahrom, Iran.

3: Global Dermatology Information Portal. Royal Bahrain Hospital, Bahrain


  • Cysteamine (mercaptoethylamine) is a product of L-cystein metabolization and is present in human body cells as well as in human milk. Cysteamine hydrochloride was first introduced as a skin depigmenting molecule by Chavin et al more than 5 decades ago. Later, Pathak and Frenk compared the depigmenting effect of cysteamine with hydroquinone and found that cysteamine was a significantly more potent depigmenting substance than hydroquinone in vivo.
  • However, cysteamine never managed to be developed into a skin depigmenting product due a very offensive smell when compounded in topical preparations. Recently, a new (undisclosed) technology has been developed by a Swiss pharmacological company (Scientis Pharma SA) which enables to significantly reduce the odor of cysteamine containing preparations.
  • The final Cysteamine cream product was evaluated by us for its skin depigmenting effect in humans.

Figure 2) Daily application of Cysteamine cream for 6 weeks reduced pigmentation in melasma* (chloasma, pregnancy mask)(and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation**) patients. Cysteamine cream was very well tolerated in the majority of patients. The only side effect among the 40 patients treated was mild skin itchiness in 2 patients that disappeared after discontinuation of the cream.

*upper pictures

** lower pictures


  • Cysteamine cream which is now practically useable through the new technology has a strong depigmenting action in vivo.
  • Cysteamine is a natural product present in human body cells in micromolar concentrations. It is suggested that cysteamine might act as an endogenous regulator of melanin synthesis in human skin.
  • Our studies indicate that Cysteamine cream is an effective and well tolerated depigmenting product and might serve as a new product against human hyperpigmentary disorders.

Adapted for the online version

Category : chloasma - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : dépigmentation - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : EADV - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : hyperpigmentation post-inflammatoire - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : masque de grossesse - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : melasma - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : NSC update - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : pigmentation - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : Prague - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : pregnancy mask - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : Singapore - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : singapour - Modifie le 09.11.2012Category : whitening - Modifie le 09.11.2012