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October 1989

Successful Treatment of Severe Polymorphous Light Eruption With Azathioprine

Author Affiliations

From the Photobiology Unit, Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas' Hospital, London, England.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(10):1377-1379. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670220073011

† Two patients with severe, disabling polymorphous light eruption, who were unable to tolerate photochemotherapy and who were unresponsive to alternative recognized therapies, are described. In both cases short-term treatment with azathioprine achieved a marked clinical improvement, confirmed by testing with an irradiation monochromator. This response suggests an immunological basis for polymorphous light eruption. Patients with polymorphous light eruption vary considerably with regard to degree of photosensitivity, and while azathioprine therapy should not be considered in the majority of sufferers, we have shown that it can be very helpful in rare patients with exceptionally severe disease.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:1377-1379)