The sun can be a tricky thing. Too little and you won’t see any benefit, too much and you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.  However, as most psoriasis sufferers know; the summer is something to look forward to because of the effects of stronger UVB rays on psoriasis symptoms.  There is a safe way to get these benefits without getting risky.

A great way to make sure you get a good amount of UVB rays is: Doctor-supervised light therapy.  What better way to get your dose of sun shine than by someone who is the most qualified to do so? This treatment is able to target where your psoriasis is located through UVB laser treatments or you could also choose whole-body.  There are UVB lights out there that you can purchase to do it yourself at home but it is always better to use a professional who is trained on the use of the equipment.  While light therapy is a great option it is important to get it the right way. Light therapy is most commonly known for being a light that gives off UVB rays; but, it is important to know that while tanning beds might sound like a good alternative they actually give off more UVA rays than UVB.  UVA rays are more dangerous and penetrate the skin more than UVB; therefore, leading to wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer.

Using natural sunlight is another good way to get UVB rays; however, since you’re not usually monitored by a professional while sun bathing it is important to understand your own skin sensitivity and limit your time in the sun accordingly.  The general rule of thumb is to be in direct sunlight for 10 minutes at a time when the sun is the strongest (10 am – 4 pm) for therapeutic purposes, otherwise it is best to stay in the shade during these times.  You can choose to increase that time by 30 seconds to a minute each day depending on how you feel.  You should always use a sunscreen when outside, even in overcast weather (You can find more sunscreen tips in our previous blog: Psoriasis and sunscreen: is there one I should be using?)  These tips will limit sun damage to your skin, which can end up causing further irritation, and will allow you to get all the benefits from the sun it can before we blink and Autumn is here.