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April 1985

Solar Urticaria

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(4):475-476. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660040059012

Solar urticaria remains an enigma to both clinicians and investigators. The frequently abrupt onset of the condition and the lack of predisposing factors or associated disorders provide few clues as to its etiology. Early studies suggested that the clinical syndrome results from several distinct mechanisms,1-3 but none has been described in detail. There are several reasons for our lack of progress in understanding this condition:

  1. Action spectra, which might be expected to provide clues about chromophores that initiate the response, are frequently broad and lack distinct absorption maxima characteristic of specific biomolecules. Furthermore, action spectra may vary in an individual at different times.4

  2. It is no longer feasible to perform serum transfer experiments because of the concern for transmitting infectious agents. Consequently, the mechanisms for which passive transfer occurs in solar urticaria have not been evaluated using modern

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