What is the role of phototoxic dermatitis in the pathophysiology of drug eruptions?

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Jonathan E Blume, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Phototoxic dermatitis is an exaggerated sunburn response caused by the formation of toxic photoproducts, such as free radicals or reactive oxygen species (see the image below).

Phototoxic reaction after use of a tanning booth. Phototoxic reaction after use of a tanning booth. Note sharp cutoff where clothing blocked exposure.

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