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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Oct;67(4):587-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.922. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Sun damage in ultraviolet photographs correlates with phenotypic melanoma risk factors in 12-year-old children.

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1
Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ultraviolet (UV) photography has been used to motivate sun safety in behavioral interventions. The relationship between sun damage shown in UV photographs and melanoma risk has not been systematically investigated.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the relationship between severity of sun damage in UV photographs and phenotypic melanoma risk factors in children.

METHODS:

UV, standard visible and cross-polarized photographs were recorded for 585 children. Computer software quantified sun damage. Full-body nevus counts, skin color by colorimetry, facial freckling, hair and eye color were collected in skin examinations. Demographic data were collected in telephone interviews of parents.

RESULTS:

Among 12-year-old children, sun damage shown in UV photographs correlated with phenotypic melanoma risk factors. Sun damage was greatest for children who were non-Hispanic white and those who had red hair, blue eyes, increased facial freckling, light skin and greater number of nevi (all P values < .001). Results were similar for standard visible and cross-polarized photographs. Freckling was the strongest predictor of sun damage in visible and UV photographs. All other phenotypic melanoma risk factors were also predictors for the UV photographs.

LIMITATIONS:

Differences in software algorithms used to score the photographs could produce different results.

CONCLUSION:

UV photographs portray more sun damage in children with higher risk for melanoma based on phenotype. Therefore sun protection interventions targeting those with greater sun damage on UV photographs will target those at higher melanoma risk. This study establishes reference ranges dermatologists can use to assess sun damage in their pediatric patients.

PMID:
22406230
PMCID:
PMC3888435
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.922
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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