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Therapeutic Approach

Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), sometimes called sun poisoning, is an idiopathic photodermatosis that classically presents as a persistent pruritic rash favoring sun-exposed areas of skin hours to days after prolonged sun exposure. As its name implies, PMLE can present with a variety of morphologies in sun-exposed areas including skin-colored to erythematous papules or plaques, vesicles, and erythema multiforme-like lesions. In patients with darker skin types, PMLE may present as pinpoint papules. The cornerstone of preventative measures for PMLE is rigorous sun protection. Other therapies utilizing the concept of photohardening are useful prophylactically. Asymptomatic patients may forgo treatment entirely and are unlikely to present to a dermatologist. Therapy for symptomatic patients should be based on clinical severity. See Table 90-1.

Table 90-1Polymorphous Light Eruption Treatment Table

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