Does tanning help psoriasis: Tanning for Psoriasis Relief: Know the Facts
Tanning for Psoriasis Relief: Know the Facts
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin condition that leads to raised, itchy skin plaques. It can also affect other areas of the body such as the joints. While there’s no cure, it can be managed with proper treatment and modifications.
You may be considering different treatment options for psoriasis. One option is light therapy, or phototherapy. Doctor-supervised light therapy is a medically supported treatment for psoriasis.
But phototherapy isn’t the same as tanning. Here’s what to know.
Many people find that sun exposure helps improve psoriasis skin. But tanning isn’t considered a traditional psoriasis treatment option.
Your overall treatment approach should focus on preserving quality of life and lowering the likelihood of flare-ups. You may need to identify psoriasis triggers and avoid them to lessen your chances of flare-ups.
It’s important to work with a doctor or healthcare professional to develop the best psoriasis treatment plan for you. That may include:
- topical medications
- light therapy
- oral medications
- injected medications
In particular, light therapy somewhat mimics the benefits of sun exposure on psoriasis skin. It uses ultraviolet rays under doctor supervision to help improve psoriasis.
If you and a doctor determine phototherapy might be a good addition to your psoriasis treatment plan, here’s what you should know.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light can help control your psoriasis. Many kinds of light therapy are available, including targeted and whole-body treatments. These treatments slow overactive T cells and reduce flare-ups. A doctor can help you decide whether this method is right for you.
Some types of light therapy include:
Natural sunlight therapy
You can use the ultraviolet light that comes naturally from sunlight to treat psoriasis. It’s recommended that you spend at least 5 to 10 minutes in the midday sun each day. Don’t stay out for very long, though. Too much sun exposure can also cause psoriasis to flare up.
Observe how your skin tolerates sunlight. Some psoriasis treatments may make you more sensitive to sunlight. Be careful not to overexpose your skin.
People living with psoriasis are generally advised to apply fragrance-free, mineral-based sunscreens to their entire body. This helps lower the risk of skin cancer, especially considering certain psoriasis medications can increase the risk of skin cancer.
However, some people should avoid applying sunscreen directly on skin that’s affected by psoriasis. For those people, wearing ultraviolet protection factor clothing may be recommended. Ask a doctor for individualized sun protection guidelines.
This therapy exposes you to UVB light for short periods of time in a controlled environment. This type of light therapy uses limited wavelengths to decrease the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Different types of UVB therapy can be used to target a specific area or the whole body.
Your psoriasis may get worse before it improves with this therapy. You can receive treatment at a doctor’s office or at home.
The light from this therapy can cause the treated skin to tan or darken. If you have skin of color, it can also cause dark spots on your skin to become more noticeable. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises that people should speak with a dermatologist if they want to avoid skin darkening from this treatment.
For psoralen UVA (PUVA) treatment, the medication psoralen is used alongside UVA light therapy. Psoralen can be taken orally or topically. The combination of psoralen with UVA light slows the overproduction of skin cells related to psoriasis.
This type of light therapy is typically used for people who have more widespread psoriasis.
PUVA treatment is typically not recommended for long-term use. Your skin may become itchy or irritated at first with this method. Moisturizers can help relieve these side effects. This treatment can also cause nausea and headache.
High levels of UVB light can be administered by a laser to treat specific areas affected by psoriasis. You may receive a course of laser treatment over several days, weeks, or months.
Each type of light or laser therapy has its own benefits and side effects. Work with a doctor to choose the best option for you.
The benefits of tanning beds aren’t clear. Tanning beds may help improve psoriasis, but they’re known to cause significant sun damage as well as cancer. As a result, the use of tanning beds is actively discouraged by many medical groups.
The National Psoriasis Foundation discourages the use of indoor tanning beds for a variety of reasons. One is that tanning beds generally emit more UVA light than UVB light. UVA light without medication, such as psoralen, is relatively ineffective at treating psoriasis.
In addition, the AAD opposes the use of tanning beds because prolonged or frequent exposure to radiation from sun lamps could lead to skin cancer.
Some people are also at risk of developing tanning addiction.
Still, some research suggests that indoor tanning beds may help psoriasis. A 2015 study concluded that indoor tanning beds may be useful in treating dermatologic conditions for people who are unable to access light therapy prescribed and managed by a doctor. The study encourages doctors to provide guidelines for this practice, as many try it anyway.
If you’re considering indoor tanning, speak with a doctor about the risks ahead of time. Ask about phototherapy, which is a much safer, more effective option.
When compared with phototherapy, exposure to natural sunlight, or tanning, comes with many risks.
Indoor tanning isn’t as effective as phototherapy. It also increases the risk of melanoma by 59%.
Some topical psoriasis medications, including coal tar and tazarotene, can also increase your risk of sunburn.
Certain oral medications, such as soriatane and methotrexate, can also increase the risk of skin burns as well as skin cancer.
Other immunosuppressive drugs, such as biologics, which lower immune system activity, can also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Prescription phototherapy is done under medical supervision to ensure safety and monitor for side effects such as skin damage and sunburn.
Light therapy is one method for treating psoriasis, but it isn’t the only option. Work with a doctor to determine the best course of action for treating your psoriasis. Together, you can develop a treatment plan that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
Is Tanning a Safe and Effective Treatment for Psoriasis?
Written by Stephanie Watson
- Sunlight vs. Phototherapy
- Tanning Beds
- Risks of Tanning
If you have psoriasis, you’ve probably heard that ultraviolet (UV) light from phototherapy can help make it better. Should you try tanning to get the same benefit? Not so fast, doctors warn.
Experts say tanning without a doctor’s supervision isn’t the best way to treat psoriasis. A trip to the beach or tanning salon may not clear up your skin, and it could be risky.
Phototherapy is safe and works well when you do it at your doctor’s office. They make sure you get the right amount and type of light, and that your skin is protected during treatment. You can also do phototherapy with a special light at home, but only with your doctor’s OK.
The sun releases both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light.
Phototherapy typically uses UVB light. Some phototherapy treatments use UVA light, but you need to take the drug psoralen first to make your skin more sensitive to the light. If you use psoralen before you go into a tanning bed, you could get a severe sunburn.
When UVB light hits your skin, your immune system makes fewer cytokines — inflammatory proteins that trigger psoriasis flares. That helps to slow the growth of skin cells.
Some people notice that their skin clears up during the summer months when they’re out in the sun a lot. The sun may improve psoriasis a little bit. But overall, the UVB rays from sunlight don’t work as well on psoriasis as the UVB rays from phototherapy.
Too much time in the sun can give you a sunburn, especially if you have light hair and skin. Skin damage from a sunburn can cause more plaques to form and make your psoriasis even worse. The link between skin injuries and psoriasis flares is called the Koebner phenomenon.
The National Psoriasis Foundation does not recommend tanning beds to treat psoriasis.
Tanning beds mainly release UVA light. They won’t clear your psoriasis, because UVA light doesn’t work very well on its own.
Tanning puts your skin in contact with UVA and UVB rays. Both can be harmful.
UVA rays go more deeply into your skin than UVB rays. They damage skin and make it more likely that your skin will age more quickly, and also raise your risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. The more times you tan, especially in a tanning bed, the greater the odds you’ll get cancer.
UVB rays cause sunburns. They also raise your risk for skin cancers.
Some of the medicines you take for psoriasis could make you more likely to get a sunburn if you tan outside or in a tanning bed, including:
- Coal tar
- Pimecrolimus (Elidel)
- Tacrolimus (Protopic)
Don’t tan without first asking your doctor if it’s safe for you. And definitely check with your doctor before you tan if you take medicine that makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
The safest way to get out in the sun is to do it a little bit at a time. Get just 20 to 30 minutes a day of sunshine on your skin.
When you do go outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and an SPF of 30 or higher. Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which may be less irritating to your skin.
how to take care of your skin on hot days
July 18, 2021
Many dermatological diseases have a pronounced seasonality. Psoriasis is no exception. In summer, psoriasis usually improves, remission due to sunlight. But it’s one thing to just walk under the sun, allowing the rays to improve the condition of the skin, and quite another to sunbathe on the beach. Is it possible to sunbathe with psoriasis? What about swimming? Let’s take a look at summer skin care for psoriasis.
How to sunbathe with psoriasis
Let’s immediately figure out whether it is possible to sunbathe at all if you have psoriasis. Psoriasis can be “winter” (that is, worsen in winter) and “summer”. Due to the peculiarities of our climate, the first type of disease is much more common. In the vast majority of patients, remission is observed in the summer. They can get sunburnt. But if you know that your exacerbation occurs in the summer, then it is better to refrain from sunbathing. “Summer” psoriasis is exacerbated by exposure to sunlight, so the best solution would be light closed clothing and stay in the shade if possible.
How to sunbathe if you have “winter” psoriasis? Here are the simple rules:
- Do not overdry the skin. Try not to lie in the sun during the hottest hours, and limit continuous sunbathing to at least 30 minutes.
- Moisturize your skin. Psoriasis worsens when the skin dries out. In the sun and in the heat, it easily loses moisture, and this can adversely affect the remission of psoriasis. Help your skin regain moisture by applying moisturizers regularly.
- Protect yourself from harmful radiation. This advice is relevant for all people, including those who do not suffer from psoriasis. However, they are still neglected by many. Before going out in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
All of the above applies to natural sun tanning. But about the solarium for psoriasis, we have a more detailed article, we advise you to read it.
Can I swim
With psoriasis, you can swim if it is a period of remission. In other words, as in the case of sunburn, it is important when the course of the disease worsens in you. If you have “winter” psoriasis, then in the summer you can swim in the river or in the sea. If “summer” – you will have to swim only in winter, in the pool. Before swimming in the pool, it is worth applying a little Vaseline to the plaques to protect them from the aggressive effects of chlorine.
If psoriasis is very noticeable on your skin, you will need to have a conversation in advance with the people in whose company you plan to relax. Explain to them that psoriasis is not contagious, and they do not risk anything by swimming near you.
During exacerbations, you should not swim either in the pool or in open water. The fact is that with an exacerbation of psoriasis, the skin becomes as vulnerable as possible, and any bacterial diseases that can be caught in water can easily enter your body.
Skin care for psoriasis in the summer largely depends on when the disease worsens in you personally. If remission occurs in the summer, then you can sunbathe and swim – but do not forget to use the products that your doctor has prescribed for you to treat psoriasis. If you have an exacerbation in the summer, it is better to refrain from going to the beach and spend time somewhere in the shade.
July 18, 2021
Author of the article: dermatologist Mak Vladimir Fedorovich
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Sunburn with psoriasis. How to get the maximum benefit and not harm?
HealthNews of medicineBUSINESS PRESS
May 28, 2013 1:00
Those who have felt all the troubles of psoriasis on their own skin know that in the summer there is hope for remission ju…
Hope for remission, because the biggest luminary, the sun, deals with the disease. But is everything so clear?
Will the sun help with psoriasis?
“The summer sun melted the scabs; by September, my chest and legs were clean, not counting the barely visible grains, pale, almost imperceptible . .. ”- this is how the American writer John Updike described the course of psoriasis in his novel, based on quite reliable facts. The fact is that under the influence of the sun, thanks to ultraviolet radiation, in most patients the condition of the skin improves: peeling decreases, itching disappears, plaques become thinner and may completely disappear.
Doctors’ observations confirm that tanned skin stays in remission longer and exacerbation of psoriasis after sunbathing, if it occurs, is not so strong. This is explained by the fact that under the influence of UV-B rays, abundantly present in the solar spectrum, the epidermis thickens, which is clearly demonstrated by the skin of professional fishermen and sailors, as well as the activation of cell regeneration processes, which contributes to skin rejuvenation.
On the one hand, the sun is a friend and healer, on the other hand, it is a dangerous and powerful irritant. It is worth slightly exceeding the “dose” and the skin condition can instantly worsen, and in order not to bring it to this, doctors advise you to follow three simple rules.
Do not overdo it
Mark Levball, MD, director of the National Psoriasis Foundation, explains that the essence of treatment is to gradually increase the dose of ultraviolet radiation, without harming the body. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to burns, which, in turn, exacerbate the disease. In addition, it must be remembered that psoriasis is an autoimmune aggression, therefore, in patients with this disease, the risk of premature aging and the development of skin cancer from exposure to ultraviolet radiation is much higher than in people with healthy skin
Doctors believe that in the first days you should not be under direct sunlight for more than 5-7 minutes. In the following days, this time can be increased by another 5-7 minutes, but the total duration of sunbathing should not exceed 30 minutes.
Going out into the sun for a patient with psoriasis is akin to going to a knightly race: until you put on all the armor, that is, you don’t smear your skin with sunscreen, it’s better not to stick out in the sun. “For people with psoriasis, I recommend applying sunscreen to all undamaged skin,” says Melissa Maglioko, MD, “leaving only the psoriatic plaques unlubricated.”
In addition, the plaques themselves should be prepared for the meeting with the sun. In the skin altered by psoriasis, there is an active process of inflammation. Inflamed skin becomes more sensitive to all strong irritants, including the sun. To avoid trouble, it is necessary to “extinguish” the inflammatory process in advance. You can treat the affected areas with an agent based on activated zinc pyrithione, best in the form of a Skin-cap aerosol, as it penetrates deeper into the epidermis and relieves inflammation faster. It will be useful to apply it on plaques and after sunburn.
It will not be superfluous to stick to a diet so that various smoked meats and alcohol do not spoil you all summer. Also, try to avoid stress.
Thus, for patients with psoriasis, the sun is a strong medicine that you just need to use correctly and not aggravate its influence with secondary factors
Age category of the site 18+
80505 March 15, 2021
CHIEF EDITOR OLESIA VYACHESLAVOVNA NOSOVA.