from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Rendering the skin susceptible to damage by light. Used of certain medications and cosmetics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. causing damage to the skin when exposed to light


photo- +‎ toxic (Wiktionary)


  • One, the kind that can happen to anyone, is called phototoxic, the effects of which resemble a very bad sunburn.

    NYT > Home Page

  • For example, aquatic organisms that have assimilated UV-B absorbing polyaromatic hydrocarbons have shown phototoxic effects when exposed to UV-B radiation.

    Climate change, interactive changes and stresses in the Arctic

  • For example, aquatic organisms that have ingested UV-B-absorbing PAHs have been shown to exhibit phototoxic effects following exposure to UV-B radiation [99].

    Potential impacts of direct mechanisms of climate change on human health in the Arctic

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), some diuretics and antihistamines (such as Benadryl), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Feldene, Naproxen, Motrin), and some antidepressants can be phototoxic after exposure to UV light.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • That phototoxic effect makes the skin red, swollen, and irritated, then causes it to peel.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • Most of the citrus essetial oils present in almost all perfumes can become phototoxic cause a rash or burning when the skin covered with this oil is exposed to the sun.

    Fragrance Safety Tips

  • And that caused her to have a phototoxic reaction.

    CNN Transcript Jul 9, 2005

  • She'd been taking an antibiotic for her bronchitis and that caused her to have a phototoxic reaction.

    CNN Transcript Jul 4, 2005

  • Unlike phototoxic reactions, which require a rather strong exposure to the offending substance, a photoallergic response can result from relatively small amounts of the allergen.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Some phototoxic reactions depend on oxygen, and taking antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E orally may be protective, Dr. Sarnoff said.

    NYT > Home Page


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.