Quantifying direct DNA damage in the basal layer of skin exposed to UV radiation from sunbeds

Isla Rose Mary Barnard, Patrick Tierney, Catherine Louise Campbell, Lewis McMillan, Harry Moseley, Ewan Eadie, Christian Thomas Alcuin Brown, Kenneth Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers are attributable to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. One DNA photoproduct, the Cyclobutane Pyrimidine Dimer (CPD), is believed to lead to DNA mutations caused by UV radiation. Using radiative transfer simulations, we compare the number of CPDs directly induced by UV irradiation from artificial and natural UV sources (a standard sunbed and the midday summer Mediterranean sun) for skin types I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale. We use Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer (MCRT) modelling to track the progression of UV photons through a multilayered three dimensional (3D) grid that simulates the upper layers of the skin. By recording the energy deposited in the DNA-containing cells of the basal layer, the number of CPDs formed can be quantified. The aim of this work was to compare the number of CPDs formed in the basal layer of the skin, and by implication the risk of developing cancer, as a consequence of irradiation by artificial and natural sources. Our simulations show that the number of CPDs formed per second during sunbed irradiation is almost three times that formed during solar irradiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1025
Number of pages9
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • UV
  • UVA
  • DNA Damage


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