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Neonatal Phototherapy for Jaundice May Increase Nevi

Exposed children need preventive treatment and melanoma surveillance

MONDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive neonatal phototherapy increases the risk for more childhood nevi and exposed children should receive dermatologic prevention and follow-up for melanoma surveillance, according to results from a small French study published in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Emmanuelle Matichard, M.D., of the Bichat-Claude Hospital in Paris, France, and colleagues conducted a case-controlled study of 58 children, aged 8 to 9 years, with skin type less than Fitzpatrick IV. The treated group (18 children) had blue light phototherapy for neonatal jaundice. The control group (40 children) was age-matched with the treated group and had no neonatal phototherapy.

The treated children had significantly more nevi greater than 2 mm than did controls. The mean nevus count was 3.5 per child in the treated group and 1.45 per child for controls. There was no significant association between neonatal phototherapy and nevus number for nevi less than 2 mm or greater than 5 mm. Sun exposure was strongly linked to total nevus count and sizes.

"These first results must be interpreted with caution because of the small sizes of the exposed and non-exposed groups. To confirm our results, complementary studies are needed to explore the relationship between phototherapy and melanoma and to find a more precise link between blue light activity and melanocytes, in vitro and in vivo," the authors conclude.

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