Sunlight and Vitamin D

Did you know that the sun provides important conditions that keeps us healthy? This includes the ability for our body to produce essential levels of vitamin D when our skin absorbs natural sunlight, and, in doing so, decreases our risk of certain diseases such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The UVB rays emitted by natural sunlight also helps autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis (read more). But, prolonged sun exposure can have negative effects on unprotected skin (such as increased risk of skin cancer), especially in the hot summer months when UVB rays are more concentrated as they hit the earth in a steeper angle. In the colder months, when the air is drier and the sun isn’t so strong, dealing with winter psoriasis can be a challenge.

In an effort to avoid certain health issues and treat certain disorders, we must balance the positive and negative health effects of prolonged sun exposure in the summer months, and rely on medications with all sorts of side effects in the winter. Today, psoriasis patients have a chance to benefit from the UVB home therapy all year long, including the winter months when we have no access to the sunlight.

With UVB light therapy, psoriasis sufferers no longer require exposing healthy and affected skin to daily hours of natural sunlight. At-home UVB devices use special Philips bulbs that emit artificial UVB 311nm rays, and treatment is typically a few seconds to a few minutes per day (depending on a dosing schedule set up by a doctor). Using this special lamp, UVB rays are targeted directly to affected areas of the skin preventing healthy skin from being exposed to the UVB rays. While moderate amounts of natural sunlight is therapeutic for our health, psoriasis sufferers who require prolonged exposure to the sun should consider UVB light therapy as a more efficient method of treatment.

Posted: March 9, 2013 by Patrick Lowe 157
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