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J Pediatr (Rio J). 2012 May;88(3):203-10.doi:

Topical photoprotection in childhood and adolescence.

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Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (HC-FMUSP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



Exposure to sunlight in childhood is often more intense than in adults. Literature data unequivocally show the association between this social behavior and the risk for developing malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, even in adulthood. Furthermore, skin photoaging begins already in childhood through inadequate sun exposure. This review aims to guide pediatricians on appropriate measures of topical photoprotection in children and adolescents, which will positively change the future of these patients.


A review of the literature indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed between the years 1999 and 2012 on photoprotection in childhood was conducted. The most relevant review articles on photoprotection in children and adolescents, photoprotection and vitamin D in neonatal phototherapy and impact on skin cancer, artificial tanning and skin cancer were selected as sources.


Children and adolescents should adopt appropriate measures of photoprotection in order to decrease the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.


There are published data that support the association between sun exposure habits and safe use of topical sunscreens in children and adolescents on the one hand and a reduced occurrence of skin cancer on the other.

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