What roles do photoavoidance and sunscreen usage play in polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) treatment?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020
  • Author: Saud A Alobaida, MBBS, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Photoavoidance (eg, avoiding sunlight, wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen) remains a key factor in the care of patients with polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Broad-spectrum sunscreens are recommended because sunscreens with high sun protection factor (SPF) values are not necessarily protective against UVA-induced PMLE.

DeLeo et al reported that sunscreen with 4 UVA filters (ie, ecamsule 3%, octocrylene 10%, avobenzone 2%, and titanium dioxide 5%) was more effective for preventing PMLE flares than a sunscreen with only a triad of UVA blockers. [47] Other studies support the use of UVA blockers to help prevent PMLE, [48] including a report that describes a lower percentage of PMLE (0% at 2 mg/m2; 33% at 1 mg/m2) in subjects who used high UVA sunscreen protection versus those who used lower UVA sunscreen protection (73% at 2 mg/m2; 80% at 1 mg/m2). [49]

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