Skip to main content

11-11-2010 | Article

Phototesting feasible in children


Free abstract

MedWire News: Phototesting appears to be a feasible way of diagnosing light-sensitive skin disorders in children, study findings indicate.

Its diagnostic potential has been demonstrated in a study of 92 children, aged between 4 and 16 years, 56 (61%) of whom were confirmed as having a photosensitivity disorder.

The researchers note therefore that the test was effective in ruling out photosensitivity in 39% of children, despite them showing sun-related symptoms.

Polymorphic light eruption was the most common disorder diagnosed, affecting 39% of children. This condition results in a spotty, itchy eruption on the skin as a result of sun exposure that takes about 5 to 10 days to clear.

The other two most common conditions were photosensitivity associated with atopic dermatitis and erythropoietic protoporphyria, which causes a burning, itchy skin sensation; these were each diagnosed in 23% of children.

The researchers, led by Onno ten Berge from University Medical Center in Utrecht, The Netherlands, comment in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: "Children require a different approach to conducting photomedical testing when compared with adults.

"The phototest procedures are not technically different but they need to be carried out in a case- and child-dependent manner."

They add: "Most important is a clear explanation of the test procedures to the child and the parents."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lucy Piper