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Photocontact dermatitis


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Vincent A. Deleo, MD, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital Center, 1090 Amsterdam Ave., Suite 11B, New York, New York, 10025, or email:


ABSTRACT:  Photocontact dermatitis is not a common condition, but neither is it rare. Both photo-irritant contact dermatitis (PICD) and photoallergic contact dermatitis (PACD) are seen by most dermatologists in general practice. PICD is diagnosed on clinical grounds and is usually caused by furocoumarins in plants like limes and celery. PACD is caused primarily by sunscreens but can also be the result of fragrances and antibacterial agents. PACD can only be diagnosed by photo-patch testing that most dermatologists, even those who patch test and give phototherapy in their office, do not perform. The procedure as outlined in this manuscript is relatively simple and can easily be accomplished in the dermatologist's office.