Drug-induced photosensitivity reactions are unique in that exposure to both light and the drug is required for the adverse cutaneous reaction to occur. Direct sunlight is the usual light source; however, sometimes diffuse daylight or artificial light will elicit a reaction. The photosensitizing drug may be administered topically, orally, or parenterally.
Since the lesions are confined to the light-exposed areas, they commonly involve the face, backs of the hands, extensor and radial aspects of the forearms, V of the neck, and, in women, the anterior aspects of the lower legs. Those most frequently seen are sunburn-like and intensely erythematous, but often the lesions look like exaggerated sunburns with edema, vesiculation, and bullae. Less frequently, the lesions are eczematous (papulovesicular), lichen planus-like, morbilliform, or, very rarely, urticarial. Although the eruption usually disappears rapidly and uneventfully within a few days after the offending drug has been withdrawn, in rare instances it may
Baer RL, Harber LC. Photosensitivity Induced by Drugs. JAMA. 1965;192(11):989–990. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080240059013
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