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Phototoxic Dermatitis from Wearing Bikinis

Written by Megan Kinder, with some helpful information gathered from Niels Hjorth, MD and Halvor Möller, MD. [email protected]

What is Phototoxic dermatitis?

Phototoxic dermatitis, and Phototoxic textile dermatitis with subsequent hyperpigmentation developed in two patients after they wore bikini bathing suits. After extraction of the dye from the bathing suits, 15 fractions could be visualized by two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography.

Two of these fractions are found in Disperse Blue 35, an anthraquinone dye known to give rise to occupational phototoxic dermatitis, but which, to our knowledge, has never been reported to cause dermatitis in consumers. One of the two fractions was also found to cause phototoxic reactions in normal subjects.

Can I Come into Contact with Phototoxic dermatitis?

Non-immunological, photochemically evoked inflammatory skin reaction in an irradiated region which resembles sunburn and may present with erythema, oedema and bulla formation. Photosensitising substances increase the reactivity of the skin to UV radiation. They lead to acute sunburn-like skin reactions at radiation doses which, with normal sensitivity of the skin, would be tolerated without reaction. Photosensitising substances can arise endogenously (e.g. porphyrins) or can be supplied exogenously via the skin (e.g. tar, eosin), gastrointestinal tract or parenterally (e.g. drugs). Drugs causing phototoxic eruptions include tetracyclines, phenothiazines, griseofulvin and dacarbazine.

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