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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-24

Therapeutic use of caffeine in dermatology: A literature review

1 Department of Dermatology, Center for Dermatology Research, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA
2 Department of Dermatology, Center for Dermatology Research, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Department of Pathology; Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Department of Dermatology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Michael J Visconti
Department of Dermatology, Center for Dermatology Research, Medical Center Boulevard, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1071
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdds.jdds_52_19

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Introduction: Caffeine is a naturally occurring methylxanthine alkaloid, with numerous molecular properties that make its application to the field of dermatology promising. Purpose: This review aims to describe the dermatological implications and applications of caffeine. Methods: PubMed was searched for literature related to caffeine use in dermatology using the search terms “caffeine and dermatology.” Results: Caffeine may stimulate the hair growth in androgenetic alopecia and may prevent the risks of incident rosacea and both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Numerous limitations exist for caffeine's application in dermatology, including few well-designed, clinically based trials in the treatment of hair loss, blurring of caffeine's potential therapeutic effects through combination with other active ingredients, potential for recall bias in prospective questionnaire-based studies, and lack of reporting on absolute effects in data analysis. Conclusion: Caffeine's numerous effects at the cellular level have potential application in the treatment of disorders related to the skin and hair. Caffeine may be beneficial in the treatment of hair loss and prevention of rosacea and skin cancer, but numerous limitations restrict the practical application of these findings.

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