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March 1997

Erythema, Skin Cancer Risk, and Sunscreens

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City.

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(3):373-375. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890390113015

Ultraviolet-induced erythema is now recognized as an important clinical marker for skin cancer risk. People with a history of repeated erythematous exposures to sunlight are more likely to develop both melanoma1-3 and nonmelanoma skin cancers.4-6 Is erythema the most important thing we need to be concerned about in terms of protecting the public from the harmful effects of sunlight? What do we know about UV-induced erythema, and why is it a powerful influence on skin cancer risk?