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March 1972

The Diagnostic Significance of the Minimal Erythema Dose

Author Affiliations


From the Skin and Cancer Hospital, Temple University Health Sciences Center, Philadelphia. Dr. Stern is now with New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(3):387-393. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620060029005

The response of the skin to increasing doses of ultraviolet light (UVL) (simulating the ultraviolet component of sunlight) was evaluated in a series of 115 individuals, 53 of whom were considered to have some disease process associated with UVL. The clinically normal response consisted of erythema of the skin produced by one of a geometrically increasing series of doses of UVL. Induration, papules, vesicles, or urticaria were considered to be abnormal responses. These abnormal responses reproduced histopathologically the clinical disease state of the patient. The dose of UVL required to produce either erythema or an abnormal skin response was significantly different in normal patients than in those with light associated disease.