Encyclopedia of Immunotoxicology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Hans-Werner Vohr

Photoreactive Compounds

  • Frank Gerberick
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54596-2_1159



Photosensitivity is the broad term that is used to describe abnormal or adverse reactions to the sun or artificial light sources. These response may be phototoxic or photoallergic in nature. Photoallergy is a cell-mediated immunologic reaction to a chemical that has been made antigenic by the interaction with ultraviolet (UV) or visible radiation (Stephens and Berstresser 1985). This reaction is similar to allergic contact dermatitis, but differs in that chemicals require activation by light to elicit the response. Clinically, photoallergic skin responses resemble phototoxic reactions but may be distinguished by the increased severity with repeat exposure and time course for eliciting a response. Further, photoallergic responses are less frequent than phototoxic reactions. Histologically, the response is characterized by epidermal edema and vesicle formation and a dense perivascular infiltrate....

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Safety DepartmentProcter & Gamble CompanyCincinnatiUSA