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April 1980

The Photodistribution of Erythema Multiforme

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(4):477. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640280113033

The occurrence of erythema multiforme primarily on sun-exposed surfaces has been infrequently documented. In his comprehensive review of erythema multiforme published in 1940, Keil1 quoted five reports of this phenomenon, all from the European literature of the early 20th century. In 1954, Anderson et al2 described a photodermatitis that bore some resemblance to erythema multiforme, but a role for light energy in the induction of erythema multiforme has scarcely been mentioned since then. We wish to report a case of erythema multiforme in which the distribution of skin lesions occurred in the same anatomical sites as those of a recent acute sunburn.

Report of a Case  On Aug 23, 1975, a 25-year-old man received a sunburn on the skin of the dorsa of the hands, the extensor aspects of the arms, the shoulders, the lower part of the back, the upper part of the chest, and the face.

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