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February 1982

Immediate Sunburn-like Reaction in a Patient With Formaldehyde Photosensitivity

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Dr Shelley is now with the University of Illinois, Peoria.

Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(2):117-118. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650140049020

• A 78-year-old man experienced pruritus, burning, and redness within minutes of exposure to sunlight. The immediacy as well as the temporary nature of the response was similar to that seen in solar urticaria, but in sharp contrast to the delayed reactions associated with sunburn and photocontact dermatitis. Photo—patch tests revealed a specific photosensitivity to formaldehyde. Despite its ubiquitous presence and its capacity to produce allergic contact dermatitis, formaldehyde, to my knowledge, has not been previously found to be a photosensitizer.

(Arch Dermatol 1982;118:117-118)