The standard treatment for new born babies who develop jaundice soon after birth, involves exposing them to strong light. French researchers say that this increases the likelihood of moles developing on the skin of the babies later in life. Such moles are termed melanocytic naevi in medical jargon.
Since the development of certain skin cancers ,like melanoma ,are linked to naevi, the researchers warn that it is important to ensure that new borns are given sufficient protection when exposing them to intense light therapy.
About 58 children, about 8-9 years of age were studied by researchers .18 of them had received photo therapy after they were born. All the children hailed from the same region in France and were closely akin to each other with respect to colour of hair and eyes and levels of exposure to UV rays. The findings do show an association between development of moles with exposure to light as newborns All children who had been diagnosed with neonatal jaundice when they were babies,and had undergone light treatment for it, developed more moles than those that did not.
The naevi that have developed in children who have a history of exposure are about 2-5 mm in diameter, report Dr. Vincent Descamps, from the Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris. Similar naevi that developed in kids with no exposure to strong light also happen to be small and of almost the same dimensions. Therefore the results of this study have to be reflected upon with caution.
Archives of Dermatology has reported the findings of this current research.