Photoprotection for all: Current gaps and opportunities

Darrell S. Rigel, Henry W. Lim, Zoe D. Draelos, Teresa M. Weber, Susan C. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The effects of solar radiation on human skin differ based on the skin phototype, presence or absence of photodermatoses, biologic capacity to repair DNA damage, wavelength, intensity of sun exposure, geographic latitude, and other factors, underscoring the need for a more tailored approach to photoprotection. To date, the focus of photoprotection guidelines has been to prevent sunburn and DNA damage induced by UV radiation, both UVB and UVA; however, several recent studies have shown that visible light also generates reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that can contribute to skin damage and pigmentation on the skin, particularly in people with skin of color. Therefore, individuals with dark skin, while naturally better protected against UVB radiation by virtue of the high eumelanin content in melanocytes, may need additional protection from visible light-induced skin damage. The current options for photoprotection products need to expand, and potential strategies against visible light include the addition of iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and biologically relevant antioxidants to sunscreen formulations as well as supplementation with orally active antioxidants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S18-S26
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • photoprotection
  • skin of color
  • sunscreen
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • visible light


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