Systemic photoprotection in 2021.

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Systemic photoprotection aims to negate the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation-induced DNA damage. Systemic supplements might be used as a monotherapy or in combination with topical sunscreens. Using the keywords ‘carotenoids,’ ‘flavonoids,’ ‘systemic photoprotection,’ ‘polyphenols’ and ‘polypodium leucotomos extract,” we searched the databases MEDLINE and EMBASE to find relevant English-language articles. Few trials have supported the use of any of these supplements as a monotherapy, impeding the recommendation of these systemic supplements as an alternative to sunscreen for photoprotection. Nicotinamide has exhibited clinically relevant benefits in reducing non-melanoma skin cancers in trials and could be recommended as an adjunctive therapy in those most vulnerable. Further research is required that is of higher statistical power, using more clinically meaningful outcome measures with comparison to the current gold standard of care, topical photoprotection, to support the use of alternative therapies in clinical practice.

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Authors: T Searle, F R Ali, F Al-Niaimi