Sun-reactive skin type in 4912 French adults participating in the SU.VI.MAX study

E Tschachler, S Hercberg, J Latreille, P Galan, L Ambroisine, K Ezzedine, M. TENENHAUS, C Guinot, DJM MaIvy

Photochemistry and Photobiology

July-August 2005, vol. 81, n°4, pp.934-940

Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences

Phototype classifications were initially developed in an attempt to predict the skin reactions of patients to phototherapy and are now widely used to advise individuals with regard to sun protection. A transversal study was conducted on the SU.VI.MAX cohort to estimate the frequency of sunreactive skin features in a large, general adult population-based sample, and to describe the associations between these features. The data were collected 3 years after the beginning of the SU.VI.MAX nutritional intervention study on 4912 volunteers (2868 women aged 35–60 years and 2044 men aged 45–60 years). A multiple correspondence analysis was performed to study the associations between the features. The results showed that these features correspond to a one-dimensional phenomenon, which allowed us to establish a score to summarize skin sensitivity to sun exposure. Furthermore, we found a link between gender and phototype using the Césarini classification (phototype IV: 37% of women, 47% of men). The analysis of the relationship with sun-reactive skin features and the score revealed the same trend. Phenotypic evaluation appears to be a good estimator of skin sensitivity to sun exposure for clinical screening or for use in research, and is easy to collect at a lower cost. Moreover, the sun sensitivity difference between gender should be considered in education about photoprotection