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Photoprotection: Review and updates

Authors: Pearl Weena Marie E. Sabido, MD, FPDS


• In the past, photoprotection focused on preventing damage from ultraviolet radiation (UVR).
• In 2012, the US FDA released regulations for sunscreen labeling, ensuring protection against both UVA and UVB.
• Patients are advised to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. This is to be applied daily,
at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, in amounts equivalent to 2mg/cm2, in combination with appropriate photoprotective
behavior. Sunscreens should be reapplied every 2 hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
• While sunscreens have faced issues regarding safety in terms of hypersensitivity, toxicity, carcinogenicity and environmental
impact, they are still considered safe to use due to the lack of evidence to support the claimed hazards.
• Within the last decade, emerging evidence points to visible light and infrared contributing to skin damage.
• Oral and systemic agents have been tapped into as photoprotective agents to complement topical sunscreens and photoprotective
behavior. They have not been proven to work as monotherapy.
• Enzymes and proteins that repair skin damage due to UVR, visible light and infrared are also under development.
• Active photoprotection is a combination of photoprotective behavior, as well as topical and systemic sunscreens that protect
against UVR, visible light and infrared while repairing sun-induced skin damage


Sabido, PWM. (2017). Photoprotection: Review and Updates. Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society, 26(2), 11-17



Photoprotection, UV, Ultraviolet Radiation


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Photoprotection: Review and updates