Photodermatoses: Skin diseases induced by the light

Radoslaw Spiewak, Karolina Szewczyk

Source: Spiewak R, Szewczyk K. Photodermatoses: Skin diseases induced by the light. In: Olszanski R (Ed). Health Protection of Military Troops in the Tropics. Publishing House of the Polish Society of Hyperbaric Medicine and Technology, Gdynia 2008, 120-133. (In Polish)

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.

Full text in Polish

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