Why is polymorphous light eruption so common in young women?
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Despite the fact that polymorphous light eruption (PLE) is the most common photodermatosis, affecting 15% of healthy people in the UK, its pathogeny remains unclear. The condition is more frequent in females and begins often in young adults and in mid-adult life. The mechanism of PLE is under active research as shown by recent results, and it is hypothesized that in PLE patients, there is a partial failure of ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression, causing an abnormal response to autologous antigens generated by ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The recent demonstration that the female hormone, 17β-estradiol prevents UVR-induced suppression of the contact hypersensitivity response caused by the release of immunosuppressive cytokines (IL-10) from keratinocytes might thus explain why the risk of PLE is higher in females than in males and why the risk decreases in women after the menopause.
KeywordsImmunosuppressive Cytokine Female Hormone Partial Failure Minimal Erythema Dose Polymorphous Light Eruption
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