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July 1984

Skin Typing for Assessment of Skin Cancer Risk and Acute Response to UV-B and Oral Methoxsalen Photochemotherapy

Author Affiliations

From The Photochemotherapy Follow-up Study and the Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr Momtaz); the Department of Dermatology, the Charles A. Dana Research Institute, and the Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory, Beth Israel Hospital (Dr Stern); and the Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School (Drs Stern and Momtaz), Boston.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(7):869-873. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650430055010

• Skin typing is a clinical classification system based on a patient's historical reporting of the acute skin response to sunlight. It is advocated as a means of determining an individual's relative risk of skin tumors and has been used to determine the initial therapeutic dose of UV radiation for UV-B phototherapy or oral methoxsalen photochemotherapy (PUVA) for psoriasis. Among PUVA-treated patients, the relative risk of cutaneous carcinoma was significantly higher among patients with skin types I and II compared with patients with skin type IV (3.2 and 2.3, respectively). Skin type was a better predictor of this risk than eye or hair color. The minimal erythemal dose (MErD) and minimal phototoxic dose (MPD) increased with increasing skin type number, but within a given skin type each varied as much as sixfold. Skin type was a good clinical predictor of skin cancer risk, but lacked specificity as a predictor of an individual's MErD or MPD.

(Arch Dermatol 1984;120:869-873)

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