An investigation of different types of eyewear and face shields in protecting patients and operators from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation

Jason Britton (Lead / Corresponding author), Ewan Eadie, David Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Phototherapy and photochemotherapy are commonly used treatment modalities for a range of chronic skin conditions. Whilst undergoing ultraviolet radiation exposure, patients can wear personal protective equipment. Face shields in combination with other forms of skin cover may be worn to provide both skin and eye protection. There are a number of different types of eyewear and face shields available for purchase. Some of these have clear identifications that show the levels of protection provided whilst others may not have any.

Methods: A series of similar experiments has been undertaken independently at two phototherapy treatment centres-Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee-to investigate the effectiveness of different face shields and eye protection that are available for purchase in the United Kingdom (UK). Two similar examples of one face shield were tested at both centres, and another was transferred between the units.

Results: Not all examples of the face shields and protective eyewear provided the wearer full protection between 300 nanometres and 400 nanometres (nm). Cost and conformance to different standards was not always a good indicator. Some inexpensive examples tested also met British Association of Dermatology protective sunglasses guidelines.

Conclusions: It is incumbent on all centres to check the properties of protective face shields and eyewear provided to patients and operators to guard against the effects from ultraviolet radiation. There is no correlation between price of the protective equipment and level of protection offered, and there may be opportunity for cost savings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalPhotodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine
Issue number4
Early online date1 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019



  • face shields
  • phototherapy
  • protective eyewear

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