We agree that recent discoveries of molecular mechanisms point toward a physiologic component of excessive UV exposure behavior. The more immediate question that we focused on is “how can we actually get patients who are abusing UV light exposure to stop doing so?” The molecular effects of UV interact with a complex array of psychosocial issues. Educational campaigns alone—even if they are effective at educating—are not enough to reduce excessive UV exposure behavior. A better understanding of the factors underlying the behavior and ways to change that behavior are needed.
Keen S, Feldman SR. UV Addiction: A Form of Opiate Dependency—Reply. Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(2):211. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2008.589