OBJECTIVE. One of the most important risk factors for melanoma is the number of acquired common and atypical nevi in childhood. The role played by neonatal blue-light phototherapy in the increasing incidence of common and atypical melanocytic nevi in childhood or adolescence has been discussed recently with discordant results.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We designed a multicenter study to assess the effects of neonatal blue-light phototherapy on nevus count in a cohort of 9-year-old children. We counted back and arm nevi as a function of size in 828 children included in a French photoprotection educational campaign. History of neonatal phototherapy, phototype, skin, hair and eye color, and sunburn were assessed through questionnaires to which both parents and children responded, and a nevus count was performed by trained nurses blinded to phototherapy history.
RESULTS. Mean nevus count was 16.7 per child. Twenty-two percent of the children had received neonatal blue-light phototherapy. Neonatal phototherapy had no effect on the nevus count irrespective of nevi location, nevi size, or phototype of the children. A light phototype, skin, and hair color; blue/green eyes; and history of sunburn were closely correlated with an increase in nevus count.
CONCLUSIONS. This study found no evidence for a major role of blue-light phototherapy on nevus count in 9-year-old children. It underlines the dominant effect of phototype characteristics and history of sunburn in childhood on the early development of melanocytic nevi.
- Accepted January 22, 2009.
- Copyright © 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics