Psoriasis and Vitamin D

It is common knowledge that vitamin D helps many people with psoriasis. Why is it then that vitamin D tablets and creams alone will not control the condition?

The answer is simple. There is only so much vitamin D the body can take in before it reaches its limit and can take no more.

The way around this is to encourage the body to produce its own vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight will cause your skin to manufacture its own natural vitamin D which is by far more effective than the synthetic vitamin D products.  As we know exposure to sunlight or UV rays also carries the risk of sunburn.

Sunlight produces three types of UV rays UVA, UVB and UVC.

UVA penetrate deep into the skin and contribute to the skin aging prematurely, wrinkles, and sunburn and skin cancer.  These rays are of a relatively consistent intensity all year round.

UVB rays are stronger than UVA and their intensity increases during the summer months, at higher altitudes and the closer you are to the equator.  Exposure to UVB rays can cause cataracts, premature skin aging and is the most common cause of sunburning. Skin cancer and  altered immune system may result from long-term exposure.

UVC are the strongest, most dangerous rays but of the least concern because the Ozone layer protects us from them by filtering them away from the earth’s surface.

UVB rays help psoriasis

The positive effects of UVB when treating psoriasis have been known for over 25 years. This makes it a safer form of treatment than many of the new medications simply because its side effects are known, whereas the side effects of new drugs are often not fully known for 10 – 15 years.

The only risk is over exposure to UVB (and natural sunlight) is the skin becoming burnt. If used in moderation and in accordance with an approved treatment program UVB is a very safe and highly effective form of treatment.

The World Health Organisation recommend the use of UVB in the treatment of psoriasis because it is so safe and effective.

During summer it is especially important to be safe in the sun to protect from overexposure. Try to avoid being in the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is at its harshest, wear protective clothing and always wear a good broad spectrum sunscreen.

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