Psoriasis is an inflammatory chronic disease with skin manifestations known as plaques or flakes. Throughout the colder and milder months the skin lesions tend to be covered by clothing, but during the warmer months you will use less clothing and you might end up expose your lesions. This can make you feel ashamed or uncomfortable, but there is no need for that! Actually there is evidence that suggests that controlled sun exposure can, not only lead to reduction of your skin lesions, but also stimulate an improvement at cellular level, providing a significant improvement of your psoriasis symptoms.
Furthermore some experts claim that up to 90% of patients can feel improvements of the skin lesions during the summer. This means that the sun can be your ally in fighting psoriasis but always with precaution and moderation.
Here are a few tips that might help you:
- If you are sunbathing, expose your skin lesions without sunscreen between 1 or 2 hours from 9 to 11 a.m. and between 4 and 6 p.m. Remember to use sunscreen on the rest of the skin
- To start it is recommended to go for short, multiple exposures to sunlight. For example start with five to 10 minutes of sun daily. Gradually increase exposure time by 30 seconds if your skin tolerates it
- After the sun exposure it is recommended to apply moisturizer and hydrating lotions
- If you are at the beach, go for a dip in the sea/ocean, around 20 minutes. Afterwards, hydrate your skin
- It is recommended to avoid exposure at the peak hours (from 11 am to 4 pm)
- Prevent sunburns, since these can trigger a flare
These are just some tips to help you getting the most out of the good weather. It is important to mention that every person is different so everyone can have a different reaction. So remember to consult with your doctor before venturing into the sun, so you can take the most out of it.
- Soyland E, Hejer I, Rodriguez-Gallego C, Mollnes TE, Johansen FE, Holven KB et al. Sun exposure induces rapid immunological changes in skin and peripheral blood in patients with psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2011, 164(2):344-55.
- National Psoriasis Foundation. [Internet]. Phototherapy. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/phototherapy#sunlight. Accessed: 26/08/2018.
- Acción psoriasis. [Internet]. La psoriasis en el verano: cómo beneficiarse del sol. Available at: https://www.accionpsoriasis.org/liberatupiel/Accion-Psoriasis-Articulo-3.htm . Accessed: 26/08/2018.