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September 1978

Carrots and Photodermatitis

Author Affiliations

Yorba Linda, Calif

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(9):1401. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640210080035

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To the Editor.—  There have been numerous reports concerning the use of beta carotene for erythropoietic protoporphyria, polymorphous light eruption, and other photosensitive disorders. In the September Archives (113:1229-1232, 1977), clinical responses appeared to correlate with serum beta carotene levels of greater than 400 μg/dl. To achieve this range, dosages of beta carotene were 15 to 180 mg/day and greater. Absorption of beta carotene is certainly not uniform. Beta carotene (Solatene) is available commercially in 30-mg capsules. At a cost of 10 cents per capsule, this regimen could cost a patient as much as 80 cents per day. An alternate source of β-carotene is fresh carrots.

Report of a Case.—  A 67-year-old man with chronic polymorphous light eruption had extensive plaques that were minimally responsive to sunscreens and topical corticosteroids. Results of photosensitivity studies showed sensitivity to ultraviolet light in the A and B ranges. The patient was treated with

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