Phototherapy linked to more pigmented lesions

NEWBORN babies who receive phototherapy for jaundice are at increased risk of developing melanocytic naevi, according to the first study of its kind.

The Hungarian study looked at 59 sets of twins aged 3–30 years, in which one twin had received phototherapy and the other had not.

The participants underwent whole-body skin examinations, ophthalmological review, and details of sun exposure were recorded. DNA samples were also taken to see if there was a genetic component to naevi development, but none was found.

The researchers found both common and atypical melanocytic naevi of the skin and iris were more common in individuals who had received phototherapy.

“Intensive [phototherapy] may mean acute shock-like attack on the immature melanocytes of the epidermis,” they wrote, calling for further studies to assess long-term adverse effects including malignant melanoma.

But Dr Warren Weightman, president of the