Vol. 30. No. 4


Knowledge of light-skin interactions remains a critical aspect of dermatology. During the past decade, advances have been made with the use of light-based technologies in the diagnosis and management of skin disease. Changes in demographics within the United States and other western countries have highlighted the need for a better understanding of photobiology in skin of color. The increase in skin cancer incidence, including melanoma, continues to challenge us to come up with more optimal photoprotective measures. This issue of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery is devoted to current principles and practice in photodermatology. The goal is to provide a snapshot of up-to-date information on disorders, therapies, and pathophysiologic mechanisms influenced by ultraviolet and visible light. Basic science data are incorporated with practical clinical approaches, resulting in a meaningful and relevant discussion of key topics in photodermatology.

Ultraviolet Radiation and Melanoma

Holly E. Kanavy, DO
Melanoma is a particularly aggressive type of skin cancer, and its incidence has been increasing steadily since the 1970s. This article will review the extensive epidemiologic data demonstrating that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, from the sun or artificial tanning beds, is the most important environmental risk factor for melanoma; the multiple detrimental effects of UVR on human skin, including DNA damage through the formation of dimeric photoproducts, gene mutations, oxidative stress, inflammation, and immunosuppression, all of which contribute to melanomagenesis; and the evidence that protection from UVR exposure, whether by melanin or by sunscreen, reduces the risk of developing melanoma. Semin Cutan Med Surg 30:222-228 © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Update on Photodermatoses

Frank A. Santoro, MD
Interactions with ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and chromophores in the skin happen on a daily basis. Photodermatoses, which are abnormal responses to UV exposure, can be classified into subgroups based on pathogenesis. This review will discuss the clinical features, pathogenesis, photobiologic evaluation, prognosis and therapies of the most common photodermatoses. Semin Cutan Med Surg 30:229-238 © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.