Impact of visible light on skin health: The role of antioxidants and free radical quenchers in skin protection

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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology


Until recently, the primary focus of photobiology has centered on the impact of UV radiation on skin health, including DNA damage and oncogenesis; however, the significant effects of visible light (VL) on skin remain grossly underreported. VL has been reported to cause erythema in individuals with light skin (Fitzpatrick skin types [FSTs] I-III) and pigmentary changes in individuals with dark skin types (FSTs IV-VI). These effects have importance in dermatologic diseases and potentially play a role in conditions aggravated by sun exposure, including phototoxicity in patients with FSTs I to III and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma in patients with FSTs IV to VI. The induction of free radicals, leading to the generation of reactive species, is one driving mechanism of VL-induced skin pathologies, leading to the induction of melanogenesis and hyperpigmentation. Initial clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of topical sunscreen with antioxidant combinations in inhibiting VL + UV-A1-induced erythema in FSTs I to III and reducing pigmentation in FSTs IV to VI. Antioxidants may help prevent the worsening of pigmentary disorders and can be incorporated into photoprotective strategies. It is essential that dermatologists and the public are aware of the impact of VL on skin, especially in patients with skin of color, and understand the available options for VL protection.

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ePub ahead of print





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