Psoriasis: the Benefits and the Dangers of the Sun


What do we know about the influence of the sun on psoriasis? Does the sun improve or worsen  psoriasis? Is the affect of the sunlight same in all the people with psoriasis?

The majority of the people with psoriasis (about 95%) report that the exposure to the sun helps them in their psoriasis treatment.

The exception is the people with the so-called summer psoriasis, which is known to get worse in the summer, possibly under the influence of the sun.

The summer psoriasis is also known as the Photoinduced or the Photosensitive psoriasis. This rare type of psoriasis affects about 5% of the people with psoriasis. The so-called summer psoriasis may be the result of the Koebner phenomenon — when the psoriatic lesions are triggered by any kind of skin trauma. Therefore the people with the photosensitive psoriasis should be extremely careful when exposing their skin to the sun.

The UV light in the sun is capable of suppressing the activity of the T cells in the people with psoriasis. Therefore, the sun in moderation is really capable of improving the course of psoriasis in the people with the so-called winter psoriasis.

Many people with psoriasis often go on vacations to the places with a better climate. People, who live in the Northern climate, usually notice a significant improvement in their psoriasis after a stay in a warm sunny Southern climate. Some people with psoriasis even choose to relocate to the places with a better climate.

But unfortunately the sun in excess may become harmful for the people with psoriasis, even for the people with the so-called winter psoriasis, which is known to get better in the summer, under the influence of the sunlight.

The UV light in excess may cause sunburn. Skin traumas are one of the major psoriasis triggers. Any skin trauma, be it cut, a bruise or a burn may cause either the appearance of psoriasis in the genetically predisposed to psoriasis people, or the flare-up of psoriasis in the people with psoriasis.

And thus the sun may become a psoriasis treatment method, as well as a psoriasis provoking factor.

Therefore, if you decide to improve the state of your psoriasis with the sunlight, you should treat the sun just as you would treat any other psoriasis treatment – there has to be a particular scheme, which you should follow while sun tanning.

If you have fair skin, or in the case, you want to be 100% sure that you will not get a sunburn, it is better to suntan in the shade (i.e. under an umbrella) for the first few days.

Apply gentle moisturizing creams after every sun tanning.

It is also known that some medications can make your skin sensitive to the sunlight, for example St. John’s wort, which is sometimes used in holistic medicine for psoriasis treatment.

If you do develop sunburn, you have to stay out of the sun. Even the strongest sunscreen, cannot protect you 100% from the UV light of the sun.