Determination of Minimal Erythema Dose and Anomalous Reactions to UVA Radiation by Skin Phototype.

11 November 2014



Phototesting is a technique that assesses the skin's sensitivity to UV radiation by determining the smallest dose of radiation capable of inducing erythema (minimal erythema dose [MED]) and anomalous responses to UV-A radiation. No phototesting protocol guidelines have been published to date.


This was a multicenter prospective cohort study in which 232 healthy volunteers were recruited at 9 hospitals. Phototests were carried out with solar simulators or fluorescent broadband UV-B lamps. Each individual received a total of 5 or 6 incremental doses of erythemal radiation and 4 doses of UV-A radiation. The results were read at 24 hours.


At hospitals where solar simulators were used, the mean (SD) MED values were 23 (8), 28 (4), 35 (4), and 51 (6) mJ/cm2 for skin phototypes i to iv, respectively. At hospitals where broadband UV-B lamps were used, these values were 28 (5), 32 (3), and 34 (5) mJ/cm2 for phototypes ii to iv, respectively. MED values lower than 7, 19, 27, and 38 mJ/cm2 obtained with solar simulators were considered to indicate a pathologic response for phototypes i to iv, respectively. MED values lower than 18, 24, and 24 mJ/cm2 obtained with broadband UV-B lamps were considered to indicate a pathologic response for phototypes ii to iv, respectively. No anomalous responses were observed at UV-A radiation doses of up to 20 J/cm2.


Results were homogeneous across centers, making it possible to standardize diagnostic phototesting for the various skin phototypes and establish threshold doses that define anomalous responses to UV radiation.


Ferriols, A.P., Aguilera, J., Aguilera, P., De Argila, D., Barnadas, M.A., de Cabo, X., Carrrascosa, J.M., de Gálvez Aranda, M.V., Gardeazábal, J., Giménez-Arnau, A. and Lecha, M., 2014. Determinación de la dosis eritemática mínima y reacciones anómalas a radiación ultravioleta A según fototipo. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas, 105(8), pp.780-788.

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Category: Medical & Pharmaceutical

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