Do sunbeds help psoriasis?

Sunbeds are machines that imitate a sun’s ultraviolet rays, to produce an artificial tan. They are used all around the world, have ultra violet bulbs and provide faster melanin production than sun bathing. Are sunbeds of any help when it comes to treating psoriasis, is the big question. And the answer is yes. Sunbeds can indeed help you with psoriasis affected skin, and is often prescribed by doctors. Usually when topical treatments do not work for psoriasis anymore, doctors prescribe sunbeds. Exposure to UV can help with smoothing out and reducing inflamed skin patches. It can reduce the itching as well.

Types of UV treatments for psoriasis:

Doctors resort to UV treatment when topical treatment is no longer useful. This often happens as a result of severe psoriasis where skin patches have become serious and critical, and are causing major itching. This treatment with light is called light therapy. The sunbed has UV lamps that can produce both UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation. The goal is to get rid of inflamed skin.

UVB light therapy:

UVB light therapy involves exposing your skin to artificial UVB light in a sunbed. The light helps clear up psoriasis from the skin and reduces itching. Extended periods of exposure can be dangerous as it may irritate psoriasis even further. Hence, controlled exposure is very important. One need not to go for UVB treatment more than 2 to 3 times a week. This, once again, depends on the recommendation of the doctor. Sometimes UVB treatment is also coupled with topical creams, to aid in the process of clearing up.

UVA light therapy:

This therapy involves making your skin sensitive to UVA light first. This is done by applying a topical cream called psoralen. This makes the skin more sensitive to UVA and  is very important for the treatment to work. Psoralen can also be taken orally in to form of a tablet. UVA light therapy is also carried out 2 to 3 times a week, once again based on the recommendation by the doctor. UVA may help in clearing up skin fast and free from psoriasis, but it is dangerous at the same time. Long exposures can lead to skin cancer and your dermatologist will only prescribe this treatment in severe conditions. After 150 doses of UVA, you are sure to have skin cancer, so you are stopped way before that number is reached.

Will sunbeds help my psoriasis?

This is a very subjective question as exceptions always exist. We know sunbeds help the majority of the patients to alleviate the severe symptoms of the disease. But for some, they can also prove to be dangerous. Phototherapy may help you with burning the dry scaly patches away, but they can cause flare ups as well if not properly controlled. Hence the best way around it is to consult your doctor and seek proper medical help. We have already seen how UVA can prove to be dangerous not only in psoriasis, but also in other conditions like skin cancer. And although people may argue it happens when you use it extensively, we never know how our bodies may react individually. We are humans but still how our internal system works and adapts, is vastly different from others. We need to understand that not all of us will have the same reaction to everything. That is why allergies exist, something to think about. Some people are allergic to certain things and other aren’t. Sunbeds can prove to be either very helpful, or not helpful at all, on an individual level.

Are sunbeds worth it?

Sunbeds have been known to help with psoriasis. And as we have looked at the different available treatments above, we can conclude that sunbeds do play in important role in helping with psoriasis. They come with their pros and cons. Where UV can help clear up psoriasis with the help of its intensity, the same intensity can also be harmful. The best way to proceed, of course, is to act according to your doctor and dermatologist.

Consult with your doctor and dermatologist before opting for any of the treatments mentioned.


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