Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does tanning help to control psoriasis?"
I read that tanning helps the skin remain soft. Is this true?
Psoriasis, as you know, is chronic autoimmune condition of the skin that produces red, itchy, and scaly areas of skin which can sometimes be quite extensive. There are many effective treatments for psoriasis, and the best first step would be to talk to a dermatologist about which treatments might be right for you. It is definitely true that light therapy helps psoriasis. In some way which is not entirely known, light rays help to dampen the immune response in the skin that produces the inflammation and red areas. For example, many patients with psoriasis notice that their skin spots improve in the summer months. However, this fact should not be taken as a reason to go out tanning! Tanning has many harmful effects on the skin, including increasing the risk of skin cancer and causing premature aging of the skin. If you are interested in light therapy for your psoriasis, this should be done under the medical supervision of a dermatologist. Dermatologists have access to special ultraviolet light technology, which has more minimal adverse effects like premature skin damage and cancer risk which can be very effective at controlling symptoms. Start by setting up an appointment with your dermatologist to discuss this option!
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