American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 169–180

Immunologically Mediated Photodermatoses

Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Thilo Gambichler
  • Raida Al-Muhammadi
  • Stefanie Boms
Review Article Immunologically Mediated Photodermatoses

DOI: 10.2165/00128071-200910030-00003

Cite this article as:
Gambichler, T., Al-Muhammadi, R. & Boms, S. Am J Clin Dermatol (2009) 10: 169. doi:10.2165/00128071-200910030-00003

Abstract

Electromagnetic radiation may cause distinct skin conditions. The immunologically mediated photodermatoses (IMP, previous term: idiopathic photodermatoses) represent a heterogenous group of disorders presenting with pathologic skin reactions caused by optical radiation, particularly in the UVA wavelength region. The exact pathomechanism in IMP remains to be elucidated; however, it is very likely (auto)-immunologic in nature. Polymorphic light eruption, actinic prurigo, hydroa vacciniforme, chronic actinic dermatitis, and solar urticaria are the most important conditions that may be summarized under the term IMP. IMP frequently result in a significant reduction in quality of life in affected individuals, mainly because of troublesome symptoms such as intractable itch and pain.

Photodiagnostic procedures are mandatory for the exact determination of action spectra and the degree of photosensitivity. Broad-spectrum photoprotection is essential in the prevention of IMP. Photo(chemo)therapeutic regimens are predominantly used to increase the cutaneous immunologic tolerance against ambient UV radiation. In severe forms of IMP, immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive therapies may need to be considered. Overall, IMP form a significant group of skin conditions that can be extremely disabling to the patient and are difficult to diagnose and treat.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thilo Gambichler
    • 1
  • Raida Al-Muhammadi
    • 1
  • Stefanie Boms
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyKatharinen HospitalUnnaGermany

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