Background: Melasma is a hypermelanosis disorder of the skin induced by UV radiation, which triggers various inflammatory mediators, including prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin-17 (IL-17). This study aimed to evaluate the difference in serum PGE2 and IL-17 levels between melasma and non-melasma patients.
Methods: We consecutively sampled the melasma and nonmelasma patients in the Dermatovenereology Outpatient Clinic of Dr. Saiful Anwar Hospital, Malang, Indonesia, from November to December 2017. As many as 46 people, ranging from 21–55 years old, were divided into two groups based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The examination of PGE2 and IL-17 serum levels was done using ELISA.
Results: The average serum PGE2 level was 886.04 ± 785.32 ng/L in the melasma group and 541.70 ± 408.54 ng/L in the non-melasma group. The average serum IL-17 level was 82.23 ± 61.08 ng/L in melasma subjects and 52.66 ± 28.62 ng/L in non-melasma.
Conclusion: The increased PGE2 serum level in melasma plays a role in the process of melanogenesis in keratinocytes and melanocytes and affects the mechanism of vasodilation. IL-17 augments COX-2 levels, thereby causing chronic melasma.