Melatonin in der dermatologie: Experimentelle und klinische aspekte

Translated title of the contribution: Melatonin in dermatology: Experimental and clinical aspects

Tobias Fischer, Walter Wigger-Alberti, Peter Elsner

24 Citations (Scopus)


Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a hormone with multiple functions in humans, produced by the pineal gland and stimulated by β- adrenergic receptors. Serum melatonin levels exhibit a circadian rhythm with low levels during the day, rise in the evening and maximum levels at night between 2 and 4 a.m.. Melatonin participates in the regulation of several physiological processes such as seasonal biological rhythm, daily sleep induction, aging and modulation of immunobiological defence reactions. Furthermore, melatonin has a highly lipophilic molecular structure facilitating penetration of cell membranes and serving as an extra- and intracellular free radical scavenger. Melatonin seems to quench mainly hydroxyl radicals, the most damaging of all free radicals. Melatonin may play a role in the etiology and treatment of several dermatoses e.g. atopic eczema, psoriasis and malignant melanoma. The influence of melatonin on hair growth is another aspect. Topical application of melatonin inhibits the development of UV-erythema. Penetration through skin after topical application and oral bioavailability auxit further investigations on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic actions of melatonin.

Translated title of the contributionMelatonin in dermatology: Experimental and clinical aspects
Original languageGerman
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.1999


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