1
Article

Summer, sun, psoriasis
– and light therapy.

How light therapy can improve your psoriasis in summer and beyond.

Summertime makes life easy, or at least easier for many people suffering from psoriasis. They notice an improvement in their plaques after sunbathing. But how much is too much? When is the best time for sunbathing? And is it a no-go if you are undergoing UV radiation therapy or taking medication? 

A little sun can go a long way – to lifting your spirits and helping your psoriasis. Summer is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the sun’s healing powers. "In general, people with psoriasis do better in summer for two main reasons – No. 1, there's greater humidity, which helps keep the skin moist, and No. 2, there's more sunlight exposure," says Bruce Strober, MD, director of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center at NYU Medical Center.1

Small amounts of UV are beneficial for people and essential in the production of vitamin D. 2 But as we all know, too much sun is not the best for our skin. So how can we benefit from much-appreciated sunlight in a safe manner? 

 

Use it while it’s there – Maximize the benefits of sunlight and minimize the negative effects in four easy steps: 

 

1. Get ready and start with just five to 10 minutes a day
Don’t fall into the trap of going overboard just because your skin was fine with it by the end of last summer. Start with a short exposure of maximum 10 minutes. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can gradually increase the time by a few minutes each day. 

 

2. Be cautious and go with shorter, multiple periods of sun exposure

Don’t fall into the trap of going overboard just because your skin was fine with it by the end of last summer. Start with a short exposure of maximum 10 minutes. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can gradually increase the time by a few minutes each day. 

 

3. Be smart and keep a record

Always note down what time and for how long you were in the sun. Tracking your exposure and keeping aware of it allows you to track your treatment success. This is especially important if you are undergoing psoriasis treatment with UV radiation at the same time. You might have already reached your maximum radiation level of UVA (315-400 nm), UVB (280-315 nm), and UVC (100-280 nm) without realising it. A great way to track UV radiation is by using wearables. From wristband trackers to skin patches, there are a lot of gadgets out there that can help you keep a record. Some of them even monitor your vitamin D levels!

 

4. Be safe

And never forget sunscreen! If you want to know more about summer sun UV treatment and protecting your overall health by limiting your risk of getting cancer, have a look at this video. 3

 

Don’t forget! Sunlight may affect your current psoriasis treatments. For example, some medications may be inactivated by sunlight, and in other cases, sunlight may intensify the medication’s side effects. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure whether this applies to your therapy or not.

Also, it’s good to keep this in mind if you’ve recently had other forms of phototherapy like UVB or PUVA. Both can increase the ageing of your skin and increase the risk of certain skin cancers due to the high doses of UV radiation. 4

 

 

 [MvdP1]Do not make this a link

 

 

 

 [GA2]Link deleated as Philips offers wearables too

 

 

1. Get ready and start with just five to 10 minutes a day

Don’t fall into the trap of going overboard just because your skin was fine with it by the end of last summer. Start with a short exposure of maximum 10 minutes. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can gradually increase the time by a few minutes each day. 
1. Get ready and start with just five to 10 minutes a day

Don’t fall into the trap of going overboard just because your skin was fine with it by the end of last summer. Start with a short exposure of maximum 10 minutes. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can gradually increase the time by a few minutes each day. 

3. Be smart and keep a record

 

Always note down what time and for how long you were in the sun. Tracking your exposure and keeping aware of it allows you to track your treatment success. This is especially important if you are undergoing psoriasis treatment with UV radiation at the same time. You might have already reached your maximum radiation level of UVA (315-400 nm), UVB (280-315 nm), and UVC (100-280 nm) without realising it. A great way to track UV radiation is by using wearables. From wristband trackers to skin patches, there are a lot of gadgets out there that can help you keep a record. Some of them even monitor your vitamin D levels!

 

 

 

End of summer – end of good mood? Not necessarily!

Let’s be honest – most of you have probably been there…
Just as soon as you have said farewell to summer, you are welcoming back psoriasis flares and a bad mood.

Unfortunately, we can’t bring back summer, but we can provide you with a list of phototherapy options that can help you reduce your psoriasis symptoms and lift your mood during the winter months. 

UV radiation therapy – the well-known, conventional option  

If you are suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis you will most likely be advised by your doctor to start or carry on with UV radiation or laser therapy. Whether this is the right choice for you depends to a large extent on your previously acquired dose of UVA/UVB rays, the sensitivity of your skin and your medical history. Due to the risks associated with UV radiation, UV treatment requires a prescription and will only be performed under medical supervision in a surgery or a hospital.

Have a chat to your doctor if you want to know more about your personal UV limits, associated risks and treatment standards.

For more general information about UV light therapy, have a look here

Blue LED light therapy – a new therapy option you might want to try  

Blue LED light therapy is relatively new. Currently, blue LED light applied by Philips BlueControl6 – a portable device that offers new options in psoriasis treatment, especially if you are looking for a more flexible and gentle therapy approach. Philips BlueControl is a genuine alternative treatment for anyone with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis and lets you treat your psoriasis at home, at work or when on the go. The lightweight, cordless device comes with fixing straps in various sizes and is ideal for treating psoriasis plaques on the elbows and knees. It works without any chemicals or UV radiation and simply emits a blue LED light that activates the natural relief processes in the skin.7
Studies have shown that Blue LED Light Therapy relieves inflammation and scaling of the skin within several weeks of treating each of your plaques for 30 minutes each day.

 

Although it is currently not that well known, the device has so far received great feedback from the psoriasis community. If you are interested in hearing what people with psoriasis have to say about Philips BlueControl, have a look at Josie’s blog!

 

For more detailed Information about how Blue LED Light Therapy works and the benefits of Philips BlueControl, have a look here.

Last but not least,

keep your spirits up – next summer is just around the corner!

Sources
 

This article is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Philips is in no way responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to the Web Site via hyperlink, whether or not such hyperlink is provided by the Web Site or by a third party in accordance with the Terms of Use. Any link on our Web Site to another site is not an endorsement of such other site and no judgment or warranty is made with respect to the accuracy, timeliness, or suitability of the content of any site to which the Web Site may link, and we take no responsibility therefor.
 
  1. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/features/sun-risk#1
  2. http://www.who.int/uv/health/en/
  3. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-16/home-care/video-psoriasis-sunlight
  4. http://www.papaa.org/further-information/psoriasis-and-phototherapy
  5. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/treating-psoriasis-sunlight
  6. Pfaff S et al. Dermatology 2015; 231: 24 – 34
  7. Philips BlueControl is an EU CE-marked class IIa  medical device (CE0344) for the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris). The device is currently not available outside EU. Before altering or stopping any prescribed medication or using the device, patients should consult with their physicians and carefully read the instructions for use. July 2017.
Related pages

Stay in touch with us.
On Social Media.

Like us on Facebook

At Philips, we want to improve the quality of people’s lives through meaningful innovation. Hearing from our customers is key to this mission and on Facebook, we welcome your insights, feedback and ideas.

Check out our Twitter feed

Philips is here to empower you to live an active and healthy life. We tweet tips and tricks to help improve your psoriasis and inform you on our latest news.