Sunbed use induces the photoaging-associated mitochondrial common deletion

J Invest Dermatol. 2008 May;128(5):1294-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.jid.5701151. Epub 2007 Nov 8.


Sunbeds have become very popular and, as a result, health effects of their use are of growing concern. In this regard, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunbeds may cause premature skin aging. Evidence for this assumption, however, has thus far been elusive. In this study, we assessed whether sunbed use induced the generation of a large-scale mitochondrial DNA mutation in human skin, the so-called Common Deletion, which is well known to be photoaging-associated. Fifty-nine individuals who voluntarily started to use sunbeds were observed over 3 months. Punch biopsies were taken from neck and buttock skin before the first and after their last sunbed visit. The Common Deletion content was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed for statistical analysis. Volunteers without previous sunbed use showed a 2.56-fold increase (95% CI: 0.97-6.78) of the Common Deletion in neck and a 3.58-fold increase (95% CI: 1.44-8.89) of the Common Deletion in buttock skin samples after sunbed use. Participants with previous sunbed use showed no increase. This study indicates that sunbed use may contribute to mtDNA deletion-associated skin photoaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / genetics*
  • Skin Aging / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial