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Br J Dermatol. 2012 Aug;167 Suppl 2:85-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11093.x.

Photoprotection in immunocompetent and immunocompromised people.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Basel University Hospital, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland.


Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure from the sun and artificial UV sources has been widely acknowledged as the major culprit for skin cancer and premature skin ageing. Skin cancers are among the most dangerous (cutaneous malignant melanoma) and the most numerous (basal cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis and invasive squamous cell carcinoma) of all neoplasms in the caucasian population worldwide. Skin cancers therefore have a significant impact on public health and healthcare costs, and will continue to do so. It is obvious that adequate photoprotection - seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreens - is the key to reducing the harmful effects of UVR in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised people. This article provides background information on UVR, photoprotection (including the concept of topical sunscreen formulations), associated concerns regarding efficacy and safety, and behavioural and educational aspects of photoprotection and skin cancer prevention in immunocompetent and immunocompromised people. Certain persistent misconceptions and mistakes regarding photoprotection are also addressed.

© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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