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Photodermatitis

Todd Kettering, DO, FAAFP and David A. Frankel, DO Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Light-induced eruptions seen in a pattern of photodistribution

    • Phototoxic reactions: result of an acute toxic effect on skin of ultraviolet (UV) light alone (sunburn) or together wi...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Pruritic and often painful rash developing in sun-exposed areas 

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Phototoxic (3)

    • Erythema

    • With increasing severity: vesicles and bullae

    • Classic example: sunburn

    • Nails may exh...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Appropriate health care: outpatient

  • Avoid sunlight/limit exposure.

  • Protective clothing/sunscreens

  • Ice packs/cold water compresses

MEDICATION

Topical corticosteroids (triamcinolone...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Avoid direct sunlight. 

PATIENT EDUCATION

  • Avoidance of direct sunlight exposure

  • Avoidance of photosensitizing drugs

  • Protective clothing (e.g., hats, long sleeves)

  • Suns...

REFERENCES

1
Smith E, Kiss F, Porter RM, et al. A review of UVA-mediated photosensitivity disorders. Photochem Photobiol Sci.  2012;11(1):199–206. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Kalia S, Laurentiu...

ADDITIONAL READING

Saraf S, Gupta A, Kaur CD, et al. Dermatological consequences of photosensitization with an approach to treat them naturally. Pak J Biol Sci.  2014;17(2):167–172. [View Abstrac...

CODES

ICD10

  • L56.8 Oth acute skin changes due to ultraviolet radiation

  • L57.8 Oth skin changes due to chr expsr to nonionizing radiation

  • L56.4 Polymorphous light eruption

  • L59.8 Oth disrd of the skin, subcu ...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 with full-spectrum protection (UVA and UVB) for best efficacy.

  • The most common medications that predispose to photosensitivity include tetr...

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