Solar ultraviolet radiation in South Africa: Clinical consequences for the skin

Caradee Y. Wright*, Lester M. Davids, Beverley Summers, Mary Norval

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to its latitude, topography and cloudless skies, South Africa receives high solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). This country has a multi-ethnic population classified into black, colored, Asian and white groups, who have varying degrees of response to sun exposure. In this review, information relating to the effects of solar UVR on skin cancer development, oculocutaneous albinism, melasma, the immune system and vitamin D production are discussed in the context of the peoples of South Africa. Methods of personal photoprotection are included. Effective sun safety messages for the public need to be developed, particularly aimed at the most susceptible groups, while recognizing the issues associated with variations in skin color in the South African population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-706
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • South Africa
  • immunosuppression
  • melisma
  • oculocutaneous albinism
  • photoprotection
  • skin cancer
  • solar ultraviolet radiation
  • sun exposure
  • vitamin D


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