The effect of summer holidays and sun exposure on atopic dermatitis

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Aug;144(4):463-6.


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of sunlight during summer holidays and to assess the seasonability of atopic dermatitis in 43 consecutive patients with mild-moderate atopic dermatitis referring to the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic of the University of Bologna.

Methods: Patients had to answer an open questionnaire.

Results: The collected data showed that 74.4% of the patients affected by mild-moderate atopic dermatitis had complete resolution during summer holidays, 16.3% had improvement and only 9.3% had no modification of atopic dermatitis severity, confirming the seasonability of the disease, with improvement during summertime and worsening in the other seasons. Seaside holidays produced a significantly greater improvement than mountains holidays, with complete resolution of the disease in 91.2% versus 11.1% of patients, P<0.01. Conclusion. These data support the hypothesis on the positive effect of UV radiation on atopic dermatitis in patients without eczema after local therapy with corticosteroids or immunomodulators, but are in contrast with those reported by other authors from Northern Europe. This discrepancy is probably due to the latitude and different climate. In the Mediterranean area and in southern locations greater improvements are observable.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires