Systemic photoprotection in 2021

T. Searle, F.R. Ali, F. Al-Niaimi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Systemic photoprotection aims to negate the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation-induced DNA damage. Systemic supplements may 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 monotherapy, impeding the recommendation of these systemic supplements as an alternative to sunscreen for photoprotection. Nicotinamide has exhibited clinically relevant benefits in reducing nonmelanoma skin cancers in trials and could be recommended as an adjunctive therapy for the most vulnerable indviduals. Further research is required, which needs to be 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1189-1204
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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