A Comparative Study of The Efficacy Between 5% Morinda citrifolia Fruit Extract Cream and Placebo Cream for Treatment of Melasma

  • Lwin San Mei Aung Mae Fah Luang University
Keywords: Melasma, Morinda citrifolia, Noni fruit, mean melanin index, MASI score


Background: Melasma is one of the most commonly acquired hyperpigmentations that mainly affects the face. Later, natural plant extracts gain popularity for treatment of melasma due to its lesser side effects. Therefore, the researcher reviews on Morinda citrifolia (Noni) fruit extract which has anti-tyrosinase activity as a potential alternative.

Objective: To study the efficacy of 5% Morinda citrifolia fruit extract cream for the treatment of melasma.

Method: 16 volunteers were selected according to inclusion criteria. 5% Morinda citrifolia fruit extract cream and placebo cream were applied comparatively in split face design for 8 weeks, two times per day. Sunscreens and mild soaps were also provided. The researcher took a photograph of each patient using VISIA®. Mexameter® MX18 measurement and MASI score were evaluated by the dermatologist at baseline, 4th week and 8th week respectively. Adverse effects and satisfactory score of the volunteers were observed and evaluated by three dermatologists and recorded throughout the study.

Result: The mean of MASI score in 5% Morinda citrifolia fruit extract cream showed significant reduction from baseline 7.09±1.50 to 6.80±1.41 and 6.26±1.31 at 4th week and 8th week respectively with P-value <0.001 meanwhile mean of MASI score in placebo cream increased from baseline 7.26±1.79 to 7.41±1.79 and 7.60±1.69 at 4th week and 8th week respectively. The mean melanin index of 5% Morinda citrifolia fruit extract cream was significantly reduced from baseline 219.77±57.31 to 196.33±53.59 and 181.32±48.88 at 4th week and 8th week respectively with P-value <0.001. But the mean melanin index of placebo cream increased from baseline 223.70±65.31 to 225.41±65.38 and 228.14±67.06 at week 4th week and 8th week respectively. No adverse effects were noted throughout the study.

Conclusion: This study statistically demonstrated that 5% Morinda citrifolia fruit extract cream can also be used as an alternative treatment for melasma.