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April 2004

Blue Light Phototherapy of Neonatal Jaundice Does Not Increase the Risk for Melanocytic Nevus Development

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(4):493-494. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.4.493

Number and type of melanocytic nevi are the most important risk factors for cutaneous melanoma development.1,2 Exposure to sunlight, sunburns, and a fair skin complexion are associated with nevus development in childhood.3,4 Phototherapy is the standard of care for the treatment of neonatal jaundice, which untreated might result in kernicterus with devastating neurologic injury. Efficient phototherapy rapidly reduces the serum bilirubin concentration.5 Blue lamps are most effective in reducing hyperbilirubinemia and are widely used. Their spectrum (380-550 nm) consists mainly of visible light with a peak at 450 nm and a minor component of UV light. The question raises whether this therapy has impact on nevus development. To our knowledge, this has not yet been investigated.

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