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Pediatr Dermatol. 1992 Sep;9(3):278-82.

Ultraviolet light burn: a cutaneous complication of visible light phototherapy of neonatal jaundice.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Visible light phototherapy is an easily administered and effective treatment for neonatal indirect hyperbilirubinemia. Reported cutaneous side effects include transient rashes and the uncommon bronze baby syndrome. A more hazardous side effect is ultraviolet burn. Two premature infants developed phototherapy-induced erythema, one associated with a second-degree burn, after exposure to fluorescent daylight bulbs inadvertently used without Plexiglass shields, thus allowing prolonged ultraviolet A (UVA) exposure. Premature infants, especially during the first two weeks of life, may be significantly susceptible to UVA-induced erythema. Plexiglass shields should always be in place during visible light phototherapy, and nursery staff should be made aware of their purpose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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