Pycnogenol enhances skin health and reduces discolouration, study finds

Published: 22-May-2024

The French maritime pine bark ingredient can help to reduce the appearance of primary superficial veins, improving skin appearance and overall confidence

A novel study by Horphag Research has revealed that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol, a natural extract from French maritime pine bark, improves healing and reduces skin discolouration following sclerotherapy, a minimally invasive procedure used to manage primary superficial veins, commonly known as spider veins.

Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical solution directly into the vein, causing the vein walls to swell, stick together and seal shut, stopping the flow of blood. Cosmetic complications, such as skin discolouration, are a common side effect. 

This study investigated the use of supplement Pycnogenol to evaluate its effects on possible skin discolourations after sclerotherapy compared to the standard management used for the condition.

Published in Minerva Surgery, the study involved 161 women treated with standard compression sclerotherapy for spider veins. 84 participants took 150mg of Pycnogenol daily starting the day before sclerotherapy and continued for 12 weeks, alongside standard management. 

The remaining 77 participants received only standard management and served as the control group.

The Pycnogenol group had a significantly lower average skin staining score  compared to the control group 

Reducing colouration and improving confidence

After 12 weeks, researchers assessed skin discolouration using a standardised scoring system. The skin staining score goes from 0-3, with 0 being no staining and 3 being visible staining. 

The Pycnogenol group had a significantly lower average score (0.4±0.2) compared to the control group (2.1±0.4).

Additionally, there were also significantly fewer discolourations per treated vein in the Pycnogenol group at 3.81% (16 stains/420 vein segments) than in the control group with 8.58% (37 stains/431 vein segments) observing a number of stains per vein segment.

Pycnogenol enhances skin health and reduces discolouration, study finds

“Spider veins can affect individuals of all ages but are particularly prevalent among women over 50 and those who have recently been pregnant,” explains Dr Fred Pescatore, author and natural physician. “While spider veins are generally not a health risk, they often pose a cosmetic concern for many women. Pycnogenol not only helps prevent discolouration, but also offers a potential enhancement to one’s skincare routine.”


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