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Papers of the Week

2021 Mar-Apr

Indian Dermatol Online J



Polymorphous Light Eruption- An Indian Scenario.


Karthikeyan K, Aishwarya M
Indian Dermatol Online J. 2021 Mar-Apr; 12(2):211-219.
PMID: 33959517.


Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) is the most common, idiopathic, acquired photodermatosis, characterized by abnormal, recurrent, and delayed reaction to sunlight. Polymorphous light eruption is common worldwide but the morphology, distribution, and pigmentary changes are unique in Indian skin which is discussed in this review. The prevalence of PMLE is around 10-20% in the general population. It commonly occurs in females between 20and 30 years of age. It is the most common photodermatosis in school-going children. Visible light sensitivity is an important phenomenon in PMLE. It typically presents as recurrent and chronic lesions over photoexposed sites. Initially, patchy erythema occurs with pruritus. Most of the Indians belong to type IV to type VI skin and pigmentary changes are commonly seen. The unique feature of PMLE in Indian skin is the pigmentary change which varies from hypopigmented to hyperpigmented lesions. These pigmentary changes may occur alone or in combination with erythematous or skin-colored lesions. The pigmentary lesions are seen in more than 50% of lesions. The histopathology of PMLE is characterized by the presence of hyperkeratosis, spongiosis with or without the presence of liquefactive degeneration in the epidermis. Dermal changes in the upper and mid dermis include the presence of dense perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate. The management of PMLE includes both preventive measures and medical management. Topical sunscreens, topical steroids, hydroxychloroquine and antioxidants play a very important role.