SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Summary

Blue-light phototherapy has been an essential therapeutic tool in the management of neonatal jaundice for decades. Rarely, it is accompanied by acute dermatological and systemic side-effects, but fortunately these are reversible and can be adequately and promptly treated in routine neonatal practice. In contrast, much less is known about the potential long-term side-effects of neonatal blue-light phototherapy (NBLP). Many of the data that are currently available on how NBLP influences melanocytic naevus (MN) development are controversial. The results of recent well-designed epidemiological surveys suggest that NBLP could well be a risk factor for MN formation, and highlight the need for additional in vivo and in vitro studies. NBLP is at present the mainstay of treatment for neonatal jaundice, but in the future greater consideration should be given to its long-term side-effects when phototherapy is indicated. It is relevant to emphasize the importance of appropriately restricted and adequate clinical guidelines, and strict monitoring of the management of hyperbilirubinaemia, in order to avoid the unnecessary overtreatment of newborn infants.