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J Invest Dermatol. 1985 Oct;85(4):362-4.

Comparative protection efficiency of UVA- and UVB-induced tans against erythema and formation of endonuclease-sensitive sites in DNA by UVB in human skin.


UVA- and UVB-induced tans which were visually identical with each other were induced in separate sites on the lower back of 5 normal human volunteers of good tanning ability. Tanning was achieved by 4 exposures to UVA and UVB administered over an 8-day period. One week after the last exposure the protection afforded by the two types of tan against UVB-induced erythema and against UVB-induced DNA damage was measured. Protection against erythema was measured by comparison of the minimal erythema doses of UVB in tanned and untanned skin. Protection against DNA damage was assessed by comparing the numbers of endonuclease-sensitive sites in epidermal DNA extracted from biopsies taken from tanned and untanned sites exposed to the same dose of UVB. The UVB tans conferred significant protection (mean 2.98-fold) against UVB-induced erythema. UVA tans were not associated with significant protection (mean 1.4-fold). In contrast, both UVA- and UVB-induced tans were associated with a similar reduction in yield of endonuclease-sensitive sites in epidermal DNA (in UVA tan to 47% and in UVB tan to 45% of the yield in untanned skin). Protection conferred by the tans against erythema was therefore not paralleled by protection against DNA damage.

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