Planta Med 2010; 76(6): 555-560
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1240581
Clinical Study
Original Papers
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Topical Boswellic Acid on Photo and Age-Damaged Skin: Clinical, Biophysical, and Echographic Evaluations in a Double-Blind, Randomized, Split-Face Study

Alessandra Pedretti1 , Rossana Capezzera1 , Cristina Zane1 , Elena Facchinetti1 , Piergiacomo Calzavara-Pinton1
  • 1Dermatology Department, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

received April 17, 2009 revised October 11, 2009

accepted October 15, 2009

Publication Date:
16 November 2009 (online)


Boswellic acids (BAs) are pentacyclic triterpenes with strong anti-inflammatory activity; their most important source is the extract of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata, a tropical tree that grows in India and Africa. In the present randomized, double-blind, split-face, comparative study we have assessed efficacy, tolerability, and safety of a base cream containing 0.5 % BAs as compared to the same cream without these active ingredients in the treatment of clinical manifestations of photoaging of facial skin. Fifteen female volunteers were enrolled; they applied creams once daily for 30 days. At baseline, at the end of the treatment, and after a 2-month follow-up, clinical findings were assessed according to the Dover classification scale for photoaging and by biophysical and ecographic measurements. We registered a significant improvement of tactile roughness and fine lines in the half side of the face treated with BAs; noninvasive instrumental diagnostic investigations showed an improvement of elasticity, a decrease of sebum excretion, and a change of echographic parameters suggesting a reshaping of dermal tissue. The treatment was always well tolerated without adverse effects. The present findings seem to indicate that the topical application of BAs may represent a suitable treatment option for selected features of skin photoaging.


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MD Alessandra Pedretti

Department of Dermatology
Spedali Civili

P.le Spedali Civili 1

25123 Brescia


Phone: + 39 03 03 99 53 05

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