Patients with systemic skin disease, in addition to therapy, must also take into account their daily habits. Mild sunbathing alleviates the symptoms, but if it’s done too much and without proper protection, it can cause new blisters. Sunlight may be one of the easiest ways to help treat psoriasis, but there are some misconceptions about psoriasis and sun exposure.
How does sunlight help with psoriasis?
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are classified as UVA or UVB rays. Research suggests that UV rays have immunosuppressive effects, which can help reduce psoriasis symptoms.
UVA rays range from 320-400 nanometers (nm) and can reach deep into the skin. UVB rays range from 280-320 nm and reach only the upper layers of the skin. UVA rays are not very effective in improving the symptoms of psoriasis, but UVB rays are.
UVB sun exposure can slow the rapid growth of skin cells, which is one of the main symptoms of psoriasis. This can help to alleviate inflammation and reduce scaling in people with mild to moderate psoriasis.
Since vitamin D protects the skin and balances the skin’s immune response, people with psoriasis must be exposed to sunlight. Sunlight helps the body to create Vitamin D, which protects the skin and regulates natural immunity. Vitamin D deficiency could be common in people with psoriasis, especially in winter when sun exposure is reduced. It is recommended to take vitamin D as a supplement in the winter time. Most of the vitamin D supplements are in the form of ergocalciferol. They are available in external, intravenous or intramuscular form. Like all supplements, Vitamin D should be stored in a dry, dark place, out of the reach of children.
How much sunbathing is necessary?
SHORT-TERM sunbathing, early in the morning or before sunset, can significantly improve skin conditions in psoriasis patients, but dermatologists warn that excessive sun exposure can cause a counter-effect or new blisters. Therefore, it is recommended that the tanning should be shorter and more frequent, approximately three to four times a week, with the use of a minimum of 15 SPF lotions. Sunbathing should be started with caution, at shorter intervals. For the first time, try staying in the sun for 10 minutes, then extend your next stay by another five minutes and monitor how psoriatic changes behave. If itching, irritation, and burning, or new changes occur, you are having a type of psoriasis that does not like the sun.
Bathing with lukewarm water and mild, natural soaps with the addition of natural oils can also instantly reduce skin flaking. Generally, individually prescribed medicines combined with sun exposure, avoidance of red meat, alcohol, and cigarettes have proven to be the solution that can keep this disease under control for the longest time, while self-medication and the use of medicines spread by word-of-mouth that have helped other patients are not recommended.
Aloe Vera can reduce redness and itching, but it needs to be used continuously for several months, and fish oil has also proven useful in a number of cases. Omega-three fatty acids reduce the inflammation that occurs with psoriasis, while coconut oil without artificial additives can protect the skin from drying and cracking in the sun.