Selenium, ultraviolet radiation and the skin

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2000 Nov;25(8):631-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2230.2000.00725.x.


Selenium (Se) is a dietary trace mineral in which there has recently been a surge of interest, in both the popular and the scientific press, because of its demonstrated anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties in humans. In this short review, I will explain why Se is an important component of cellular anti-oxidant defences and review its protective effects against UV radiation-induced damage to skin cells. Although little is known about whether selenium can protect human skin from UV-induced damage, clinical studies are underway and the anti-oxidant may offer considerable benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Selenium* / administration & dosage
  • Selenium* / metabolism
  • Selenium* / therapeutic use
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • Selenium