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October 1969

Contact Photosensitivity Dermatitis From Sun-protective Agent

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and the Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Epstein is currently with the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Goldman is currently with the Lahey Clinic, Boston.

Arch Dermatol. 1969;100(4):447-449. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610280065011

A popular commercial sunscreening agent containing the ultraviolet-absorbing chemical glyceryl p-aminobenzoate was found to be a photosensitizer having produced a severe dermatitis in a patient who applied it prior to sun exposure. Three possible mechanisms of action are briefly discussed: photoallergy, phototoxicity, and photoaugmentation. The agent was shown to be an ordinary contact allergen as well as a photosensitizer.

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