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Arch Dermatol Res. 2007 Apr;299(1):25-32. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Pigmentation after single and multiple UV-exposures depending on UV-spectrum.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, D92, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark.


Minimal pigmentation dose (MMD) after a single UV-exposure is well investigated. Whereas only few studies have established MMD after multiple UV-exposures and mainly in fair-skinned persons. The purpose of this study was to establish MMD 1 week after, respectively, one and five UV-exposures in volunteers with a large variation in constitutive pigmentation. A total of 52 volunteers (skin Types II-V) had skin pigmentation quantified by reflectance spectroscopy. They were UV-exposed on the back for 1 and 5 days using a Solar Simulator, narrowband UVB, broadband UVA and UVA1. For all sources a higher dose was needed the more pigmented the skin, except for UVA1. After one UV-exposure, we found a significant positive linear correlation between UV-dose to one MMD, skin type and pre-exposure skin pigmentation. After five UV-exposures the positive linear correlation between UV-dose and MMD and skin type was only significant for narrow band UVB, pre-exposure skin pigmentation was significant also for Solar Simulator. For UVA and particularly UVA1 the MMD was independent of pre-exposure pigmentation. The number of SED to MMD is therefore almost the same for very fair-skinned and dark-skinned persons. Pre-exposure pigmentation was clearly more predictive of MMD than skin type. 50% of MMD equals a pigmentation increase of 1%. The shorter the wavelengths the higher the SED to produce MMD. Solar was the least melanogenic and UVA1 the most melanogenic. For the UVB-sources a higher dose was needed the more pigmented the skin. For UVA the MMD was independent of pre-exposure pigmentation.

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