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Coll Antropol. 2007 Jan;31 Suppl 1:63-7.

Phototoxic and photoallergic skin reactions.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University Hospital "Sestre milosrdnice", Zagreb, Croatia.


Indirect action of sun together with different exogenous agents (systemic medications and topically applied compounds) sometimes may result in phototoxicic and photoallergic reactions. Drug-induced photosensitivity reactions refer to the development of cutaneous disease as a result of the combined effects of a drug and light (mostly spectrum within the UVA and visible light range or UVB range). The aim of the review was to show the prominent features of phototoxic and photoallergic reactions, which occur in sun-exposed areas, including face, neck, hands and forearms. Phototoxic reactions are significantly more common than photoallergic reactions and mostly resemble to exaggerated sunburn. Photoallergic reactions appear only in a minority of individuals and resemble allergic contact dermatitis on sun-exposed areas, although sometimes may extend into covered areas. Generally, the physical examination and a positive patient's history of photosensitivity reactions on substances are of great importance for the diagnostics. The treatment of these reactions includes identification and avoidance of offending agent and application of anti-inflammatory dressings, ointments and corticosteroids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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