Adverse reactions to sunscreen agents: Epidemiology, responsible irritants and allergens, clinical characteristics, and management

Ashley R. Heurung, Srihari I. Raju, Erin M. Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sunscreen is a key component in the preventive measures recommended by dermatologists and public health campaigns aimed at reducing sunburn, early skin aging, and skin cancer. To maximize compliance, adverse reactions to sunscreens should be minimized. Although inactive ingredients cause many of these reactions, it is important for dermatologists to be aware of reactions to active ultraviolet filters. There are approximately 120 chemicals that can function as ultraviolet (UV) filters. This review focuses on the 36 most common filters in commercial and historical use. Of these, 16 are approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration. The benzophenones and dibenzoylmethanes are the most commonly implicated UV filters causing allergic and photoallergic contact dermatitis (PACD) reactions; benzophenone-3 is the leading allergen and photoallergen within this class. When clinically indicated, patch and photopatch testing should be performed to common UV filters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-326
Number of pages38
JournalDermatitis
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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