The idiopathic photodermatoses

Robert S Dawe and James Ferguson

Figure 53.1 Typical papular polymorphic light eruption

This group of photosensitivity disorders includes polymorphic light eruption (PLE), hydroa vacciniforme, chronic actinic dermatitis (also called photosensitivity dermatitis and actinic reticuloid syndrome), solar urticaria, actinic prurigo and juvenile springtime eruption. The causes of each of these conditions remain unknown, although there are suggestions that the mechanism for some, especially PLE, might be autoimmune. For the purposes of this book, we discuss PLE, the commonest of these conditions on which there is the largest volume of published literature. Where appropriate, for example when discussing differential diagnosis, we mention other photodermatoses. Other photodermatoses such as cutaneous porphyrias, DNA-repair disorders (such as xeroderma pigmentosa) and drug induced photosensitivity will be dealt with in future editions of the book and accompanying website.

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