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Photodermatitis

Todd Kettering, DO Reviewed 06/2022
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Light-induced eruptions seen in a pattern of photodistribution exposure

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

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Pruritic and often painful rash developing in sun-exposed areas 

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Phototoxic (4)

    • Erythema

    • With increasing severity: vesicles and bullae

    • Classic example: sunburn

    • Nails may exhi...

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– 20...

ADDITIONAL READING

Coffin SL, Turrentine JE, Cruz PD Jr. Photodermatitis for the allergist. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2017;17(6):36.  

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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