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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):80-5. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Acute effects of UVR on human eyes and skin.

Author information

1
St John's Institute of Dermatology, Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, King's College London School of Medicine, at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas' Hospitals, London, UK. antony.r.young@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Solar UVR ( approximately 295-400 nm) has acute clinical effects on the eyes and the skin. The only effect on the eye is inflammation of the cornea (photokeratitis), which is caused by UVB (and non-solar UVC) and resolves without long-term consequences within 48 h. The effects on the skin are more extensive and include sunburn (inflammation), tanning and immunosuppression for which UVB is mainly responsible. Tanning is modestly photoprotective against further acute UVR damage. Skin colour is also transiently changed by UVA-dependent immediate pigment darkening, the function of which is unknown. Skin type determines sensitivity to the acute and chronic effects of UVR on the skin. Some of the photochemical events that initiate acute effects are also related to skin cancer. Solar UVB is also responsible for the synthesis of vitamin D.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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