Relationship Between Sunlight and Skin Health

Sun, UV and Psoriasis: The Complicated Relationship Between Sunlight and Skin Health

Sun exposure is good. Sun exposure is also bad when you do not know the accepted limits. Sunlight can help relieve psoriasis symptoms. However, you should seek your doctor’s advice on psoriasis and sunlight to manage your irritated skin.

How does the sun help in the management of psoriasis?

Too much sun exposure can adversely affect psoriasis patient’s skin leading to further flare up. Sunlight is a rich source of vitamin D. The skin produces vitamin D and is significantly activated by ultraviolet rays. Spending a few minutes in the early morning sun or late afternoon sun provides sufficient levels of vitamin D needed in the body.

However, you should be careful to protect yourself from extreme sunbathing because it can cause sunburn. Psoriasis condition often affects light-skinned people. They are also predominantly prone to other skin conditions. Therefore, use sunlight to manage psoriasis with directions from a dermatologist.

Dermatologists often use Vitamin D supplements and creams to manage psoriasis flare up. You also get Vitamin D from food in your daily diet. Some vitamin D rich include milk, oranges, and fish. High-quality vitamin D supplements the doctor recommends can provide the nutrients in the body.

management of psoriasis

UV Rays

The skin uses sunrays to help manufacture vitamin D. The sun emits three types of rays: UV, UVA, or UVB. The difference in these rays is the amount of wavelength. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, reaching the dermis. On the other hand, the UVB reaches only the surface.

UV rays can bring relief to inflammation caused by psoriasis. UVB rays can also reduce scaling in a patient with mild psoriasis. However, the patient should seek advice from a dermatologist before choosing UV rays as an alternative treatment for psoriasis.

Tanning and psoriasis

On the other hand, too much exposure to sunlight can damage the skin. Can a dermatologist recommend a patient to get a tan with psoriasis ?  People use tan beds to trigger the skin to produce more melanin. The more melanin one has in their skin, the darker their complexion. The tan becomes light as new cells move to the skin surface, the epidermis.

Tanning and psoriasis

Doctor’s advise patients to take precautions because too much ultraviolet rays can cause sunburns. Too much ultraviolet rays can make psoriasis worse, causing more cracking and irritation.

How to maximize UV light from the sun?

You can use a tan bed to help you maximize the sunlight and help you relieve psoriasis symptoms. Here are helpful tips:

  1. Sunscreen protection
  • Use an appropriate sunscreen cream- Ensure the sunscreen you apply on your skin is at least an SPF of 30. Sunscreen with sun protection provides the necessary shield against damaging sun rays. A sunscreen of SPF of 30 blocks up to 97% UVB and UVB radiators.
  • Apply the sunscreen early enough– the skin can take up to 30 min to absorb the sunscreen lotion to protect you from harmful rays. Therefore, apply sunscreen for at least half an hour before stepping outdoors. Squeeze the tube, apply generous amounts of sunscreen and rub it gently until it is evenly spread on the skin.
  • Apply on other body parts- Many people target the face and neck when applying sunscreen. Protect yourself better by applying sunscreen on every part of the body exposed to the sun. Therefore apply sunscreen to the ears, hands, neck, shoulders, and scalp.
  • Keep reapplying the sunscreen- One application of generous sunscreen cannot last a day in the outdoor sunshine. Dermatologist recommends users reapply sunscreen every two hours because it wears off because of sweat and contact with water.
  • Dark skin users should also use sunscreen- sunscreen is not meant for people of light skin only. UVA and UVB rays affect people of all skin types. Every user desires to maintain youthful skin despite their age. Too much sun exposure can age the skin faster than someone using sunscreen. Therefore, use an effective sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
  1. Wear sunglasses

Wear UV-treated sunglasses to prevent harmful sun rays from reaching your eyes. The skin around the eyes is delicate and more sensitive if you have erythro-dermic psoriasis that affects the entire body.

  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat

A wide-brimmed hat should protect the neck, ears, forehead, and the scalp. These body parts are often exposed to intense sunlight.


Psoriasis is an immune skin condition that affects the hands, elbows and trunk. The skin cells accumulate on the surface to form red, raised, silvery scales. The patches are often itchy and dry and can crack to bleed. There is no known cure for psoriasis, a doctor recommends management interventions such as medications and light therapy. Sunlight can help in the management of mild psoriasis. Further exposure to the sun can cause irritation and damage to the skin.

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