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Soothing and anti-itch effect of quercetin phytosome in human subjects: a single-blind study

Authors Maramaldi G, Togni S, Pagin I, Giacomelli L, Cattaneo R, Eggenhoffner R, Burastero S

Received 22 October 2015

Accepted for publication 17 December 2015

Published 26 February 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 55—62


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Video abstract presented by Maramaldi and Togni.

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Giada Maramaldi,1 Stefano Togni,1 Ivan Pagin,1 Luca Giacomelli,2 Roberta Cattaneo,3 Roberto Eggenhöffner,2 Samuele E Burastero4

1Indena S.p.A, Milan, 2Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics, School of Medicine, Genova University, Genoa, 3Abich Srl, Verbania, 4San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

Background: We evaluated the ability of quercetin, a natural antioxidant formulated in a specific delivery system, to reduce skin inflammation induced by a variety of stimuli, including UV radiation, stimulation with a histamine solution, or contact with chemical irritants. In particular, we tested the soothing and anti-itch effect of Quercevita®, 1% cream for external use, a formulation characterized by a phospholipids-based delivery system.
Patients and methods: The study was a monocentric, single blind trial that enrolled a group of 30 healthy volunteers. The back of each subject was examined to identify four quadrants with no previous skin damage or naevi that were treated in order to induce a controlled and reversible form of skin stress. The areas were treated as follows: no product; Quercevita® 1% cream, 2 mg/cm2; placebo; positive control (a commercially available topical formulation containing 1% dexchlorpheniramine).
Results: Only quercetin phospholipids 1% and dexchlorpheniramine 1% achieved a significant reduction in erythema with comparable results: (–10.05% [P=0.00329] for quercetin phospholipids 1% vs –14.05% [P=0.00046] for the positive control). Moreover, quercetin phospholipids 1% and dexchlorpheniramine 1% were both associated with a significant decrease in mean wheal diameter: (–13.25% and –12.23% for dexchlorpheniramine 1%, respectively). Similar findings were reported for the other tested parameters.
Conclusion: Quercetin has a skin protective effect against damage caused by a variety of insults, including UV radiation, histamine, or contact with toxic chemical compounds. Indeed, quercetin is able to reduce redness, itching, and inflammation of damaged skin; it may also help restore skin barrier function, increasing hydration, and reducing water loss.

Keywords: quercetin, anti-oxidant effect, anti-inflammation, reactive oxygen species

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