Mypsoriasisteam Members Talk About Tanning Beds
Some MyPsoriasisTeam members have discussed using commercial tanning as an accessible means of treating their psoriasis with light exposure. As one member captured in her post, some people acknowledge the risks associated with commercial tanning: The tanning bed helps my psoriasis plus my joints. I understand the risks of skin cancer, and I choose to take that risk.
Other members have discussed the psoriasis symptoms they feel commercial tanning has helped alleviate. Doing better after three trips to the tanning bed, wrote one member. After just three 15-minute visits with the tanning bed, my sores are drying up fantastically! Another member wrote that tanning beds really help with the itching, while another simply said they feel so much better after they leave a tanning session. One MyPsoriasisTeam member noted that tanning has only helped them a little in the past it just depends on the part of the body. It never helped with my scalp.
These testimonials should be taken into consideration with the serious risks of tanning beds as treatment.
Psoriasis Patients Flock To Salons
Almost 19 out of 20 tanning facility owners 93 percent say that their salons have clients who tan primarily as an informal treatment for psoriasis, according to a SmartTan.com poll conducted in late February.
That finding supports several other Smart Tan surveys showing that many who follow indoor tannings cosmetic protocol are informally and inexpensively treating their psoriasis as a side-effect of their cosmetic tan.
- A 2010 Smart Tan survey of 6,881 indoor tanning clients revealed that 11 percent of tanning clients say a doctor referred them to a tanning salon for therapeutic reasons and that 28 percent of those referring physicians were dermatologists. The survey shows that the recent press release from the American Academy of Dermatology in which the organization contended that 100 percent of dermatologists discourage tanning is baseless.
- In a 2009 SmartTan.com poll 67 percent of salons reported having dermatologists in their communities who are in favor of moderate UV exposure as long as tanners avoid sunburn.
Based on the 2010 consumer survey, dermatologists refer an estimated 900,000 people to sunbeds in the United States every year. Two of my doctors told me I needed to tan: my dermatologist for my skin psoriasis, and my regular doctor for depression from not getting enough sun lightTanning did help a lot, said Robert Van Dine, a patron at Midnight Sun & Cruise in Holland, Mich., a Smart Tan member facility.
Q: How Much Does Light Therapy For Psoriasis Cost
A: Cost is a major factor that will impact the therapy option patients will undergo to treat psoriasis. Topical psoriasis medications might cost $500+ per tube and biologic treatments can cost nearly $20,000 a year. Purchasing a home phototherapy unit may be a beneficial investment, saving patients hundreds in gas and travel time and office co-pays.
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How Long Can I Expose My Skin To The Sun Before Burning
This depends on many factors, including:
The strength of the sunThis can be assessed by the UV index, announced in summertime weather reports. The UV index is a number representing the strength of the sun, and ranges from 1 to 11+. 1-2 represents low UV, 3-5 moderate UV, 6-7 high UV, 8-10 very high UV and 11+ extreme UV. In the UK the UV index rarely goes above 6 or 7.
Other factors also need to be taken into consideration. For the UK some very approximate guidance can be given on how long individuals can tolerate the sun before burning. Assuming moderate sun strength , and for previously unexposed and currently unprotected skin, then exposure times possible before onset of sunburn are approximately: phototype I, 5-10 minutes phototype II, 10-20 minutes phototype III, 20-30 minutes phototype IV, 40 minutes .
Your sun sensitivityThis is assessed by the Fitzpatrick phototyping scale, which describes how the skin reacts to sun exposure. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, the American dermatologist, as a way to classify the typical response of different types of skin to sunlight. The Fitzpatrick scale remains a recognised tool for dermatological research into human skin pigmentation.
What increases the chances of burning?This also depends on many factors, including:
- Which areas of skin are exposed
Scalp, neck, face , upper back and shoulders are more sensitive to the sun than the lower legs.
- How much exposure you have already had
For example, a sunscreen.
Added Advantage Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient to reduce inflammation in any part of your body. When combined with UV rays from sunlight, vitamin D can work wonders to clear psoriasis plaques. When your body is exposed to sunlight, it is triggered to produce more of this vitamin, thereby gaining benefits of improved immunity and stronger bones. Patients suffering from psoriasis are found to have low levels of vitamin D in their body, especially in winter season. So, by exposing your body to sunlight, you can compensate for the lack of vitamin D in your body as well. As vitamin D is naturally found in some foods as well, consume more of fortified milk, yogurt, orange juice, salmon, tuna, egg yolk, Swiss cheese etc. For more information on the subject, take a look at our article on what to eat if you have psoriasis.
Read Also: How Do I Get Rid Of Psoriasis On My Nails
Does Scratching Psoriasis Make It Spread
A psoriasis flare may begin as a small patch that spreads, then gradually gets better. Most flare-ups are triggered by something. Scratching a psoriasis rash does not cause it to spread from one location to another. However, it may slow the healing process, creating the appearance that psoriasis is spreading.
Safety Issues Surrounding Tanning Beds
In contrast to phototherapy in a medical setting, tanning beds may be more affordable and have more convenient hours. But the first question you need to answer is: What kind of UV light are they offering? Most tanning beds deliver only UVA light, which does not treat psoriasis, so you need a tanning bed that provides both UVB and UVA light.
The next issue is how much light youre being exposed to. The main advantage of phototherapy under a dermatologists supervision is that the doctor can completely control how much light you are receiving, says dermatologist Marian Northington, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The UVB light and the machines that provide it have been tested and calibrated to maximize treatment success, whereas tanning beds have not. Clinic-based phototherapy also has considerable data to support its efficacy and safety, emphasizes Dr. Feldman.
Moreover, skin cancer is a risk with any light therapy, but that risk is greater with a tanning bed than with lasers or UVB machines at a medical office. Unlike dermatologist-prescribed phototherapy, which is targeted to just areas with psoriasis, a tanning bed exposes your entire body to UV rays. This means your risks for skin cancer and cataracts are elevated, says Dr. Northington.
Psoriasis is a chronic, severe disease for some people, says Northington. You dont want to get into a tanning bed forever.
Read Also: My Scalp Psoriasis Is Gone
Making The Decision To Tan
I went to a place called Brown-N-Serve in my hometown. A couple times a week I would strip down in a closet-sized room that had a bowl of palm tree and playboy bunny stickers next to the giant glowing clamshell bed. I will never forget the smell of the place. If youve been to a tanning establishment, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Its kind of a combination of artificial coconut and burnt skin.
Results Of Light Therapy
Most people who are interested in light therapy are most concerned with when theyll see results. However, light therapy has different results with every person. Depending on your skin type and severity of psoriasis, the amount of time needed for a treatment session will vary. Most people who undergo light therapy have had little improvement from other psoriasis treatment options.
Because of this, many people need repeated light therapy for several weeks to see improvement. Most people experience relief in 3-12 months and have results that last for over six months.
Recommended Reading: Show Pictures Of Plaque Psoriasis
Alternatives To Light Therapy
Both treatment options are only available to patients under a doctors care. But because UVB rays can be found in various other natural and artificial light sources, some patients suffering from psoriasis have looked for other ways to treat the condition without their doctors supervision. Whether for lack of time, lack of funds, or some other reason, some patients have turned to tanning beds for exposure to UVB rays as a skin care treatment.
Tanning Bed For Plaque Psoriasis
I have Guttate and Plaque Psoriasis and Ive been going to a tanning salon to help with it. I started out around 3-4 mins and now Im up to 8 mins four times a week.
After ten sessions
As you can see there has been a significant improvement. I do not endorse or condone tanning beds just sharing my personal experience. Good luck to every one and fast healing.
Mine I pay $30 for a basic bed a month, but I buy a package for $100 for the higher beds that lasts me for months since I do not go that often. So its $30 a month since the $100 pkg lasts me so long. Tanning definitely helps. I put a good lotion on after I get home from going and that seems to help a lot!! I was very red yesterday, went tanning after work and applied Aveeno last night. All my spots are very faint!!
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Risks Associated With Tanning Beds For Psoriasis
When you undergo light therapy under the supervision of an expert, he is responsible for monitoring how much light is entering your body. Light therapy is specifically designed to cure your psoriasis and not cause any side effects. But when you expose yourself to sunlight or tanning bed, there is no one to monitor your exposure, and you may end up with several side effects and even worsening your condition. The National Psoriasis Foundation discourages the use of commercial tanning beds as it does not ensure that the wavelengths used are safe for the patient’s skin.
Light therapy is targeted to only the affected areas of your body, but sunlight or a tanning bed applies excessive heat and light to your entire body. As a result, this increases your risk of developing skin cancer and other skin conditions. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light can make your skin look older and leathery. So, if you are sure how much tanning you should get, and if you can control your exposure, then tanning can prove to be your ultimate treatment for psoriasis.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How does Tanning Help Psoriasis – Everything you Need to Know, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.
Tanning From Natural Sunlight
If you are tanning your skin with natural sunlight, you should take care not to get sunburn in the end. Even if you are going out to soak your skin up in the sunlight, you should still not forget to apply your sunscreen. Apply the sunscreen on all unaffected areas of your skin, and dont forget to wear sunglasses. Go out when the sun is at its peak heat. Do not stay outside for more than 10 minutes, otherwise you may end up damaging your skin with sun. Start with 10 minutes, and increase the period of 30 seconds every day, as long as your skin can comfortably tolerate it. The natural sunlight will not only help in clearing psoriasis symptoms, but will also allow you to body to produce more of vitamin D.
Read Also: Treatments For Plaque Psoriasis Scalp
How Does Tanning Effect Psoriasis
If looking like an old boot and risking cancer wasnt enough for me to quit, what I found out next definitely was. The tanning beds werent really effective for my skin in the long run. In order to control my symptoms, both UVA and UVB rays are needed. UVA is usually only effective if used in conjunction with the drug psoralen.
Furthermore, its a science to determine how much exposure is just enough without increasing the risks previously discussed. I realized a dermatologist was probably a much better at making this determination than the tanning salon receptionist. A doctor is also able to control where the rays are hitting.
Granted, most of my body was covered with plaques, but there was still delicate skin in between that I wanted to preserve.
Prescribing Tanning Beds To Psoriasis Patients
- Dermatology Online Journal
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Also Check: Best Dermatologist In Houston For Psoriasis
How Do You Get Rid Of Sunbed Rash
How to treat a tanning bed rash
What About Tanning Beds
You may wonder if indoor tanning beds can treat psoriasis. This has been a topic of discussion among the psoriasis community. However, the benefits of tanning beds arent clear. This practice is actively discouraged by many medical groups because it carries an increased risk for skin cancer.
The NPF discourages the use of indoor tanning beds for a variety of reasons. One is that tanning beds generally emit more UVA light than UVB light. UVA light without medication, such as psoralen, is relatively ineffective at treating psoriasis.
Still, some research suggests that indoor tanning beds can help psoriasis. One study concluded that indoor tanning beds may be useful in treating dermatologic conditions for people who are unable to access light therapy prescribed and managed by a doctor. The study encourages doctors to provide guidelines for this practice, as many people try it anyway.
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Risks Of Using Tanning Beds For Psoriasis
Although commercial tanning may help some people with psoriasis, the bottom line is that the ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning beds is proven to cause skin cancer. Given the high risk of commercial tanning, in 2009, the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer increased the classification of UV-emitting indoor tanning devices to the highest level of cancer risk: group 1, or carcinogenic to humans, which moved indoor tanning devices up to the same risk category as tobacco and asbestos.
Indoor tanning use can cause several types of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Societys Cancer Action Network, using indoor tanning devices before age 35 increases a persons melanoma risk by 59 percent, squamous cell carcinoma risk by 67 percent, and basal cell carcinoma risk by 29 percent. In many cases, skin cancers develop years after tanning bed use. Discuss the risks and benefits of sunlight for psoriasis with your dermatologist.
Tips To Reduce Your Risk
I was lucky enough to find a couple foundations that would help cover the cost of treatments so I could stop tanning, but I realize that isnt an option for everyone. What I would suggest is to always use your best judgment and think long-term.
Its really easy to get caught up in trying to find something that works for us quick, because this disease is so uncomfortable and burdensome! But trading out one horrible health problem for another isnt a good solution.
If you dont feel you have any other options, take some steps to protect yourself. This may include:
- Protect unaffected skin– use clothing or sunscreen to protect areas that do not have psoriasis.
- Wear goggles–protect your peepers by always wearing black-out tanning googles. You may look funny, but your eyes will thank you.
- Know your skin–take note of each mole or mark on your body and monitor them. If you notice any new or changing spots, see a dermatologist right away.
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Q: Can Phototherapy Make Psoriasis Worse
A: Phototherapy treatment, much like psoriasis, varies from patient to patient. It is possible that one patient notices his or her condition slightly worsens before it gets better, while another patient notices more immediate progress. Flare-ups are also common in the healing process, but with continued phototherapy treatment clear those too will clear up.
Q: How Long Does It Take Phototherapy To Work
A: Phototherapy is most commonly dosed in high outputs of UVB light administered two to three times a week. Treatment lengths start at just seconds in length initially and expand to several minutes of exposure per treatment. On average, 20 treatment sessions are necessary before patients begin to notice results.
Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have Scalp Psoriasis