Exposure of the skin to UV radiation induces local inflammation. We hypothesized that inflammation induced by erythemal UV-B irradiation could elevate levels of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and that suberythemal repeating doses of solar-simulating UV radiation (SSR) would produce photoadaptation to such inflammation. Separation-free high-sensitivity assays of CRP show an increase by 42% (P = 0.046) in CRP concentrations in healthy human subjects 24 h after a 3 minimal erythemal dose (MED) dose of UV-B delivered onto a 100 cm2 skin area. Preceding daily suberythemal doses of whole-body SSR for 10 or 30 consecutive days completely prevented the CRP increase. UV-B–induced skin erythema was partially attenuated by 30 preceding days of SSR only (P = 0.00066). After 10 daily SSR doses, the mean baseline CRP concentrations (0.24 ± 0.21 mg/L) declined by 35% (P = 0.018). Using high-sensitivity analysis of serum CRP as the endpoint marker for cutaneous inflammation, we show that acute exposure of even a relatively small skin area to erythemal UV-B induces skin inflammation detectable also at the systemic level and that photoadaptation by preceding repeating suberythemal doses of SSR reduces signs of inflammation. Our data complement the view given by previous studies in that local photoadaptation also has systemic manifestations.
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Vol. 81 • No. 3