Summary: Photodermatoses are a heterogenous group of skin diseasse, whose common feature is that they are initiated or aggravated by the light. As a result, one of the most typical features of photodermatoses is the predominant involvement of uncovered areas - face, neck, decollete, forearms, etc. depending on the dress. Etiology of these diseases covers a broad spectrum of pathology - from genetic and metabolic dysfunctions (e.g. vitamin PP deficiency) to phototoxic and photoallergic reactions, in which exogenous factor (drug, cosmetic, sap of a plant) makes the skin susceptible to the light. Photosensitizing properties of many popular phophylactic drugs (e.g. antibiotics, antimalarials), as well as of long-term therapeutics (pain killers, cardiovascular drugs, antidiabetics, neurologic therapeutics etc.) constitute a major problem in the tropics. Paradoxically, also active ingredients of sunscreens may lead to the development of photoallergy. It seems that most frequent photodermatoses are phototoxic reactions.
© Radoslaw Spiewak
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