What is the role of steroids and antihistamines in the treatment of polymorphous light eruption (PMLE)?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020
  • Author: Saud A Alobaida, MBBS, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Topical corticosteroids are useful, as would be expected in many dermatoses associated with lymphocytic skin infiltrate. They are temporary measures for symptomatic relief. Adverse effects such as potential tachyphylaxis and skin atrophy limit their long-term use.

Systemic steroids may be needed to suppress acute flares or extensive generalized eruption. Adverse effects of prolonged systemic steroid use include decreased glucose tolerance, osteoporosis, impaired immunity, and weight gain. Obviously, this treatment can only be offered intermittently and for a short period. It may also be considered for patients prophylactically going on vacation or for those patients experiencing other unavoidable sun exposure.

Antihistamines may help with pruritus.


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