We present the first longitudinal study reporting the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in sun-exposed skin of healthy individuals living in a geographical area in which solar UV radiation is influenced by the ozone content of the atmosphere. During three climatic seasons, skin swab samples were obtained from 78 healthy individuals and the prevalence of cutaneous HPVs was assessed with broad-spectrum FAP and CUT primers and determined at 54, 45 and 47 % in spring, summer and winter, respectively. Frequencies of mixed HPV infections were significantly higher in spring with respect to summer and winter (P=0.02). Seventy-one different HPV types/putative types were identified. While 62 volunteers were HPV-infected in at least one season, 23 had persistent infections. β-PVs (β-1) were the most prevalent and persistent. Age was associated with both the infection status (P=0.01) and the type of HPV infection (no infection, indeterminate/transient, persistent P=0.02). The molecular/phylogenetic analysis of the newly identified β-PV, officially designated as HPV209, showed that the virus has a typical genomic organization of cutaneous HPVs with five early (E6, E7, E1, E2 and E4) and two late genes (L2 and L1), which clusters to the species β-2. This provides useful data on cutaneous HPV infections in high UV-exposed regions.