WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Open this folder and view contentsViral infections
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Close this folderPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
View the documentActinic keratosis
View the documentBasal cell and squamous cell carcinomas
View the documentMalignant melanoma
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Open this folder and view contentsAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Premalignant lesions and malignant tumours

Exposure of skin to sunlight is beneficial in moderation since ultraviolet radiation is vital to the synthesis of vitamin D and hence to satisfactory skeletal development. Excessive exposure, however, is hazardous, particularly in light-skinned persons who tan poorly, and in patients who are photosensitive. There is also evidence that ultraviolet light decreases the immunological responses of the skin.

Photodamage is first evident as acute sunburn and, in the longer term, as premature ageing of the skin. Excessive exposure to sunlight also predisposes to the development of malignant and premalignant skin lesions, including actinic keratosis, squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.

The incidence of malignant and premalignant conditions is particularly high among light-skinned persons living in hot sunny climates and in dark-skinned persons with vitiligo or albinism. Many cases could be prevented by persuading parents and individuals directly at risk of the importance of avoiding sunburn and reducing exposure to solar radiation. Photoprotection in children is a priority all over the world, and every effort should be made to institute educational programmes on protection against the sun at a very early age. The use of protective clothing (e.g. tightly woven fabrics, wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves and long trousers) is highly effective. When this is not practicable or acceptable, it is important to encourage regular use of sunscreen products with a SPF rating of at least 15. People should understand that the atmosphere has a filtering effect on ultraviolet light and, therefore, they should avoid exposure at midday when the sun is most vertical and the light passes through less of the atmosphere.

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