TITLE

Polymorphous Light Eruption

AUTHOR(S)
Hölze, Erhard; Plewig, Gerd; Renate Von Kries, Gerd; Lehmann, Percy
PUB. DATE
March 1987
SOURCE
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Mar87 Supplement, Vol. 88, p32s
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Polymorphous light eruption (PLE) is a common photo-dermatosis of unknown etiology. It afflicts mainly fair- skinned patients, with a preponderance of young females. There is, however, no absolute restriction as to age, sex, or race. Clinical variants include the papular, vesiculo-bullous, and hemorrhagic variety, as well as plaque, erythema multiforme -- like, and insect bite (strophulus) -- like types. Skin lesions appear only in certain exposed areas hours or a few days after intense sunshine, and are nearly always monomorphous in the same patient. The rash subsides spontaneously within several days without leaving scars. The histopathologic picture is characteristic and shows a perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate in the upper and middle corium with subepidermal edema, vacuolization of basal cells, and spongiosis in the lower epidermis. The most important differential diagnoses arc solar urticaria, photosensitive erythema multiforme, and lupus erythematosus. The action spectrum of PLE is under debate. Reproduction of skin lesions has been reported with UVB, UVA, and, rarely, visible light, with UVA probably being the most effective part of the spectrum. More important than treatment of PLE is prophylaxis UVA- and UVB-effective sunscreens are of some help. Phototherapy and especially photochemotherapy (psoralen + UVA; PUVA) offer effective ways to decrease light sensitivity. Systemic treatment with chloroquine or β-carotene has been disappointing.
ACCESSION #
12468916

 

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