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Topical and Systemic Approaches to Protection of Human Skin against Harmful Effects of Solar Radiation

  • M. A. Pathak
  • T. B. Fitzpatrick
  • J. A. Parrish
Part of the Photobiology book series (PB)

Abstract

Why is photoprotection of importance to humans? We must be in the light; we cannot be forced to work or live in the dark. The sun is necessary to sustain all life on earth. We are warmed by its rays, and we are able to see with eyes that respond to that portion of the solar spectrum known as visible light. Our skin and blood vessels respond to the electromagnetic spectrum of the sun in the form of sunburn and tanning reactions. Many of our daily rhythms are dependent upon the sunlight. Natural sunlight has always been recognized for, and endowed with, health-giving powers. Yet excessive amounts of this life-supporting radiation can be very damaging to our skin. There are two concerns about the deleterious effects of sun exposure: (1) the acute effects (e.g., sunburn, phototoxicity), and (2) the potential long-term risk of repeated sun exposure, namely, the development of actinic changes (wrinkling, premature aging, irregular thickening and thinning of epidermis, hyper- and hypopigmentation), keratosis, and both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancer (1–3).

Keywords

Stratum Corneum Skin Type Porphyria Cutanea Tarda Minimal Erythema Dose Urocanic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Pathak
    • 1
  • T. B. Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  • J. A. Parrish
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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