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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 9--14

Cutaneous solar ultraviolet exposure and clinical aspects of photodamage

L'Oréal Research and Innovation, France

Correspondence Address:
Claire Battie
5-29 quai Aulagnier - 92665 Asnieres Sur Seine
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.97350

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Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the earth is a combination of UVB (290-320 nm) and UVA (320-400 nm) wavelengths. Since UVA is less energetic than UVB, UVB has long been thought to be the factor responsible for the damaging effects of solar radiation. But with modern tools such as in vitro models, it has been proven that UVA plays a major role. The objective of this review is to show how skin may be exposed to UV light and to highlight the clinical aspects of UV-induced skin damages with the respective contribution of UVB or UVA. Even if UVA is less energetic than UVB, it is more abundant and penetrates deeper into the skin, reaching as far as the dermis. Various factors also influence skin exposure to UV light: the latitude, season, and time of the day. Acute as well as chronic sun exposure induces short- and long-term clinical damages. Erythema and pigmentation are immediate responses of normal human skin exposed to UV radiation. The long-term effects are photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. In particular, UVA appears to play a major role in the deterioration of dermal structure leading to the photoaged appearance of the skin.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow