To Sunbathe or Not To Sunbathe: The Pros and Cons for Psoriasis Patients

Sunshine can benefit psoriasis, but you should be cautious about how much sun exposure you get. Some people with psoriasis discover that their itchy, scaly patches are nearly nonexistent during the hot summer months. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition. Some patients’ skin might look better thanks to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

This explains why some dermatologists use UV therapy as one of their psoriasis treatment options. But striking a balance is crucial if you decide to get a tan with psoriasis. Some medical professionals may advise regular sun exposure as a component of a psoriasis treatment regimen. But it’s crucial to adhere to medical advice. When it comes to treating psoriasis, sunlight is less effective than prescription medications, and too much sun exposure can exacerbate symptoms or cause an outbreak.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the pros and cons of sunlight for psoriasis patients.

The pros

  • UV rays

Thesunemits UVA or UVB rays. The wavelength’s size accounts for the distinction. UVB rays do not penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays do. Therefore, natural UVB rays are more helpful in treating psoriasis than UVA rays from sunlight.

People with mild to moderate psoriasis may find exposure to natural UV light reduces scaling and irritation. However, using sunlight to treat psoriasis is not always advised by medical professionals. Never attempt to do so without consulting a doctor first.

UV light therapy is a tried-and-true method of treating persistent psoriasis. Targeted UV light exposure can lessen the symptoms of psoriasis and limit the proliferation of skin cells.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D, which has many crucial functions, can be produced by the body, thanks to sunlight. Some foods naturally contain vitamin D. Most of peoples’ vitamin D supply come from sunlight.

Sunlight for psoriasis can be very helpful in treating psoriasis. Exposure to natural UV radiation helps reduce inflammation and scaling in patients with mild to moderate psoriasis. UVB wavelengths in sunlight cause the skin to produce the vitamin D necessary for healthy skin.Psoriasis has been linked to low vitamin D levels, though its exact impact is unclear. Nevertheless, vitamin D is frequently used as a popular psoriasis treatment.

Sun exposure is one of the best and simplest ways to obtain vitamin D. However, levels can be controlled by taking supplements or increasing consumption of foods high in the vitamin, such as fortified dairy, orange juice, salmon, and tuna.

Most people obtain all the vitamin D they require from sunlight during the warmer months. However, during the colder months, our bodies produce less vitamin D, so taking supplements or eating foods that have been fortified may be necessary.

The cons

  • Skin cancer

Sun exposure also carries the danger of sunburn, which can exacerbate psoriasis patients’ sensitive skin. Particularly UVA wavelengths have been linked to the development of photoaging symptoms such as wrinkles, broken veins, drooping skin, and age spots. Melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer may also raise your risk of getting severe sunburn.

When you have a significant sunburn, the burned areas might sometimes develop new psoriasis patches. Those who are fair and don’t tan readily are most in danger of sunburns. Limiting exposure to natural sunlight is also advised for those taking phototherapy because it might exacerbate skin sensitivity.

  • Medications

Some drugs like coal tar lotion and tazarotene can increase your susceptibility to sunburns. Both of these are widely used topical treatments for psoriasis.Some antihistamines, antifungals, antibiotics, and other drugs can also make you more sensitive to the sun.

Protecting yourself from sunlight when you have psoriasis

It would be wise to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays even if you did not have psoriasis. You have an additional reason to do so if you have psoriasis because sunburn can worsen it. Dermatologists advise taking the following actions:

  • Avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is strongest.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective eyewear, and light, breathable clothing made of cotton, especially in pale hues.
  • Wear “broad-spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 days.
  • Look for shade- finding shade can help reduce sunlight exposure and promote body cooling.

However, even in shady places, excessive sun exposure is risky. Trees and umbrellas can filter some of the sun’s rays. Snow and water are only two examples of surfaces sunlight can reflect. Skin exposure may rise as a result.

Wrapping it up

Psoriasis and sunlight have an intricate relationship. Sun exposure has some limitations, but it can be quite beneficial in psoriasis treatment and reduction. Psoriasis has no known treatment. However, exposure to sunlight may help manage the condition if it is permitted and advised by your doctor.

When exposed to the sun, taking cautious steps can help safeguard your skin and lower your chance of sunburn, exacerbating psoriasis patches and putting you at risk for additional issues, including aging skin or even skin cancer.