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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   Free accessfree

Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology 2021 October;156(5):558-61

DOI: 10.23736/S2784-8671.20.06582-7


language: English

Impact of sun exposure on adult patients affected by atopic dermatitis

Maddalena NAPOLITANO 1 , Giuseppe MONFRECOLA 2, Gabriella FABBROCINI 2, Davide FATTORE 2, Angela PATRÌ 2, Cataldo PATRUNO 3

1 Department of Medicine and Health Sciences Vincenzo Tiberio, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy; 2 Section of Dermatology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy; 3 Department of Health Sciences, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy

BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis management is challenging and usually requires intermittent or continuous, long-term treatment with topical and/or systemic anti-inflammatory agents and appropriate skin care. Most patients affected by atopic dermatitis improve during sun exposure. It has been reported that the change from a subartic/temperate to a subtropical climate for 4 weeks improved significantly skin symptoms and quality of life in children, even for 3 months after return. However, until now the effect of sun exposure on adult patients with atopic dermatitis has never been investigated.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study to assess the short-term effect of sun exposure during summer holidays on skin symptoms of adults affected by AD.
RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen patients were enrolled in the study (62 males; aged 18-72 years, mean age 35.3±12.6). Seventy-three out of 114 patients (64%) spent their holidays at the seaside, and 41/114 (36%) in the mountains; 38/41 (92.7%) subjects from the latter group reported that during their holidays they frequented outdoor swimming pools or solariums almost every day of their vacation. The sunlight effect was considered beneficial by 68/114 (59.6%) of patients. In particular, 38/114 patients (33.3%%) reported the improvement of AD and 30/114 (26.3%) the complete resolution of the disease during summer holiday.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data seem to suggest that sun exposure is beneficial in most patients, but not in all patients. In fact, sun exposure does not appear to improve skin symptoms or even aggravate them in about 4 out of 10 patients. This could be particularly important also considering ongoing climate changes that may affect the clinical history of several skin diseases, among which AD.

KEY WORDS: Dermatitis, atopic; Sunstroke; Retrospective studies

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