If you are someone who struggles with psoriasis, you know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be to find relief. The red, flaky patches on your skin can be both painful and embarrassing, which is why so many people turn to tanning beds for help. But, the real question is, is tanning bed good for psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects over 3 million people in the United States. The condition causes the skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, itchy patches that can be difficult to manage. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are a variety of treatments available that can help alleviate symptoms. Tanning beds have become a popular option for sufferers of psoriasis as the ultraviolet (UV) light they emit can help decrease inflammation and promote natural healing. But, is it really the best treatment option available to those who suffer from this skin condition?
If you are considering using a tanning bed as a treatment option for psoriasis, it’s important to understand the risks associated with UV exposure. While small doses of UV light can have a positive effect on the skin, prolonged exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer and other skin diseases. Additionally, tanning beds may not be effective for everyone. Those with fair skin, light-colored eyes, or a history of skin cancer may be at a higher risk of side effects. It’s always best to consult with your doctor before beginning any new treatment regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. This condition causes the skin cells to grow at a faster rate than normal, leading to the buildup of skin cells on the surface. The dead skin cells create symptoms such as itching, burning, and thick, scaly patches of red, white, or silver skin. Psoriasis can develop in any part of the body, but it’s commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, and face.
What are the Causes of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While the exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, there are several factors that are believed to contribute to its development.
- Genetics: Psoriasis tends to run in families, suggesting a possible genetic connection. People with certain genes may be more susceptible to developing the condition than others.
- Immune system: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells. This results in the rapid production of new skin cells, which leads to the formation of psoriasis plaques.
- Environmental factors: Certain environmental factors may trigger psoriasis flare-ups in people who are already predisposed to the condition. These can include stress, infections, medications, and injuries to the skin.
In addition to these factors, research suggests that lifestyle choices may also play a role in the development of psoriasis. For example, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have both been linked to a higher risk of developing psoriasis.
It’s important to note that psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. While it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition to live with, it is not life-threatening.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects over 125 million people worldwide. Symptoms of psoriasis can range from mild to severe, and can vary from person to person. Here are some common symptoms of psoriasis that you should look out for:
- Red, raised patches of skin that are often covered with scales.
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch.
- Small scaling spots on the skin that can join together and form larger patches.
Types of psoriasis
Psoriasis is a complex condition that comes in several forms. Each type of psoriasis has its unique symptoms, but some common symptoms occur in almost all cases of psoriasis. Here are some of the most prevalent types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis – the most common type, marked by raised, inflamed, red plaques that are covered in white scales.
- Guttate psoriasis – characterized by small red dots on the skin.
- Pustular psoriasis – marked by pus-filled bumps on the skin.
Although the symptoms of psoriasis differ from person to person, there are some common factors called “triggers” that can cause psoriasis to flare-up. Here are some of the most common psoriasis triggers:
- Infection – people with psoriasis may experience flare-ups if they get sick with bacteria or viruses.
- Stress – emotional stress can trigger psoriasis flare-ups or make existing symptoms worse.
- Certain medications – some medications like lithium and beta-blockers can trigger psoriasis or make existing symptoms worse.
- Climate changes – cold weather is a known psoriasis trigger for many people.
Psoriasis vs eczema: The differences
Sometimes psoriasis can be misdiagnosed as eczema or vice versa because they have some common symptoms like dry, itchy skin. However, there are some critical differences between the two conditions that you should be aware of.
|Red, raised patches of skin
|Red, itchy skin
|Dry, scaly skin that may bleed or itch
|Weeping, crusting skin
|Small scaling spots that may join together and form large patches
|Rashes on the face, inner elbows, and behind the knees
If you’re unsure whether you have psoriasis or eczema, consult a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.
What are the treatments for psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing symptoms such as raised, red, and scaly patches. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are many treatments available to help manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with the condition.
One common treatment for psoriasis is topical creams and ointments, which are applied to the affected skin. These medications can help reduce inflammation, itching, and scaling. Examples of topical treatments include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and coal tar.
Another treatment option is phototherapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light. This can be done using natural sunlight or artificial light sources, such as lamps and tanning beds. However, it is important to note that the use of tanning beds for psoriasis treatment may carry some risks and should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Systemic medications may also be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis. These medications are taken orally or by injection and work throughout the body to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Examples include methotrexate, cyclosporine, and biologic drugs.
Lastly, lifestyle changes can also help manage psoriasis symptoms. This includes avoiding triggers, such as stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Additionally, taking care of the skin by moisturizing and practicing good hygiene can help reduce the severity of symptoms.
In summary, there are many treatments available for psoriasis, ranging from topical creams and phototherapy to systemic medications and lifestyle changes. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that works best for each individual case.
What are the risks of using a tanning bed?
While tanning beds can provide relief for psoriasis symptoms, there are several risks associated with using them. These risks are attributed to the exposure to intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by tanning beds. Here are the top risks of using a tanning bed:
- Increased risk of skin cancer – According to the American Academy of Dermatology, using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 59%. Additionally, in 2019, the World Health Organization classified tanning beds as a known carcinogen.
- Accelerated skin aging – Tanning beds can cause premature aging of the skin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. This is due to the repeated exposure of the skin to UV radiation, which damages the collagen fibers and elastin in the skin.
- Eye damage – Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can damage the eyes, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems.
- Immune system suppression – Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and diseases.
- Photosensitivity – Psoriasis itself increases the skin’s sensitivity to light. Using a tanning bed can exacerbate this condition and cause skin irritation, redness, and itching.
It is essential to note that the severity of these risks depends on several factors, including the individual’s skin type, the frequency of tanning bed use, the length of exposure, and the intensity of the UV radiation emitted by the tanning bed. Therefore, it is crucial to have a conversation with a dermatologist before using a tanning bed, especially if you have a history of skin cancer, photosensitivity, or immune system disorders.
If you must use a tanning bed, consider taking measures to reduce the risks. For example, look for tanning beds with lower UV radiation levels, limit the length and frequency of your sessions, and wear protective goggles to shield your eyes from UV radiation. Furthermore, use moisturizers and sunscreen to protect your skin from excessive dryness and damage.
Overall, while tanning beds may provide temporary relief for psoriasis symptoms, the risks associated with their use far outweigh the benefits. Therefore, it is best to explore safer and more effective psoriasis treatment options with a medical professional.
How does a tanning bed work?
Tanning beds or sunbeds are used to produce a glow on the skin that mimics a natural tan. They emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation that penetrates the skin to produce melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its darkened appearance. The UV rays emanated by tanning beds are 95% UVA and 5% UVB. UVA radiation is responsible for the tanning skin, while UVB radiation is essential for the production of vitamin D.
- The tanning process begins when one enters the tanning bed and activates a switch.
- The tanning bed’s lamps begin to emit UV radiation in the same range as the sun.
- The UV rays penetrate the skin’s top layer and induce melanin production, causing the skin to darken.
Overexposure to tanning beds can lead to significant health problems such as premature aging, sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer. The use of tanning beds is also linked to the exacerbation of skin conditions like psoriasis.
When people with psoriasis use tanning beds, they are attempting to attain a more even skin tone and reduce the visibility of their plaques. However, scientific studies have shown that the use of tanning beds only provides temporary relief and can eventually aggravate the condition. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using any UV radiation source to manage psoriasis.
The best way to minimize the symptoms of psoriasis is to follow a doctor’s recommendation for lifestyle and psoriasis management. These may include regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and topical treatments or prescribed medications. UVB light therapy, administered under medical supervision, may be recommended as an alternative to tanning beds, as it is known to help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
|Tanned skin without sun exposure
|Increases the risk of skin cancer development
|Relieves anxiety and depression over changes in skin tone
|Increases skin damage and premature aging
|Helps improve the visibility of psoriasis plaques temporarily
|Contributes to psoriasis flare-ups and inflammation
In conclusion, the “benefits” of tanning beds do not outweigh their potential health risks. Instead of using tanning beds as a way to manage psoriasis, it’s better to seek a doctor’s advice to minimize the condition’s symptoms and negative effects.
Can tanning beds improve psoriasis symptoms?
Tanning beds are a popular choice for people who want to get a golden glow without spending hours baking in the sun. But can they help individuals with psoriasis? Let’s take a closer look.
First, it’s important to understand that psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing red, scaly patches to appear. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments available to manage symptoms, including topical creams, light therapy, and oral medications.
When it comes to tanning beds and psoriasis, there are both potential benefits and risks to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- UVB rays can help improve psoriasis symptoms: Tanning beds emit UVB rays, which are the same type of rays used in phototherapy treatments for psoriasis. These rays penetrate the skin and slow down the excessive growth of skin cells that cause psoriasis plaques to form. Studies have shown that tanning beds can be an effective form of light therapy for individuals with psoriasis, with some patients experiencing a 50-75% improvement in symptoms after regular treatments.
- UVA rays can worsen psoriasis: While UVB rays may be helpful, UVA rays can actually make psoriasis worse. Tanning beds emit both UVB and UVA rays, with UVA rays being more prevalent. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and can cause DNA damage, leading to premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. For individuals with psoriasis, exposure to UVA rays can cause inflammation and trigger flare-ups.
- Tanning beds are not a substitute for prescribed treatments: While tanning beds may be beneficial for some individuals with psoriasis, they are not a substitute for prescribed treatments. Psoriasis is a complex condition that requires medical attention and management. It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
In conclusion, tanning beds can be a helpful tool for individuals with psoriasis, but they should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. UVB rays can help improve symptoms, but UVA rays can worsen them. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits and risks and to prioritize the use of prescribed treatments.
What precautions should be taken before using a tanning bed for psoriasis?
Using a tanning bed can be tempting for people suffering from psoriasis as it can help relieve some of the symptoms. However, before using a tanning bed, it’s crucial to take some precautions to ensure it’s safe for your skin.
- Consult your doctor: Before using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment, it’s essential to speak with your doctor first. They will be able to evaluate your skin and let you know if it’s safe to use a tanning bed with your specific type of psoriasis. They can also provide you with advice on the frequency and length of each session.
- Understand the risks: While tanning beds can provide some relief for psoriasis symptoms, they can also damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. It’s essential to understand the risks associated with using a tanning bed and to weigh them against the benefits before proceeding.
- Protect your eyes: Tanning beds produce UV rays that can harm your eyes. When using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment, ensure that you wear protective eyewear. Many tanning salons provide this as part of their service, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.
- Prepare your skin: Before using a tanning bed, make sure your skin is clean and free from any creams, lotions, or other products. They can interfere with the effectiveness of the tanning bed and can also cause skin irritation.
- Start slowly: If you’re new to tanning beds, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the length of time. This will help your skin get used to the UV rays and minimize the risk of skin damage.
- Monitor your skin: While using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment, it’s essential to monitor your skin for any signs of damage or irritation. If you notice any changes or discomfort, stop using the tanning bed and speak with your doctor.
- Stay hydrated: Tanning beds can dehydrate your skin, so it’s essential to drink plenty of water before and after each session. This will help keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Each tanning bed is different, so it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. This will ensure that you’re using the tanning bed correctly and safely.
Using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment can be a great way to relieve some of the symptoms. However, it’s important to take the necessary precautions, such as speaking with your doctor, protecting your eyes, and monitoring your skin for any changes. By following these precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of a tanning bed while minimizing the risk of damage to your skin.
If you have any concerns about using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment, it’s essential to speak with your doctor. They can provide you with advice on the best course of action for your specific type of psoriasis.
How often should someone use a tanning bed for psoriasis?
Using a tanning bed for psoriasis treatment requires a lot of care and attention. It is important to not overdo it as excess exposure to UV rays can cause skin damage. Experts recommend that a person should undergo a tanning bed session for psoriasis not more than three times a week. Each session may last for about three to five minutes, depending on the skin type and the intensity of the tanning bed.
- It is important to start with shorter durations and gradually increase the time spent on the machine.
- Consulting with a dermatologist is also a good idea as they can suggest a personalized tanning bed treatment plan that suits your skin type and specific needs.
- It is also advised to avoid tanning outdoors as it can lead to adverse effects and further damage to the skin.
Moreover, those who are taking prescription medications or undergoing other treatments for psoriasis must consult with their doctors before starting tanning bed therapy. People with a history of skin cancer and other skin conditions must avoid tanning beds altogether. It is important to take proper precautions, such as using protective eyewear and minimizing exposure to the UV rays that tanning beds emit, to ensure the safe and effective use of the machine for psoriasis treatment.
|Duration Per Session
|1st – 2nd Week
|3 minutes per session
|3rd – 4th Week
|5 minutes per session
|5th – 6th Week
|7 minutes per session
|7th – 8th Week
|10 minutes per session
Following a proper tanning bed regimen can help improve the symptoms of psoriasis and provide relief. However, it is important to approach it with caution and with the guidance of a healthcare professional. With the right frequency and duration, tanning bed therapy can be a helpful treatment option for psoriasis patients.
What are alternative treatments for psoriasis besides tanning beds?
While tanning beds have been known to help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, there are a number of other treatments available that do not come with the potential risks associated with UV exposure.
- Topical treatments: These include creams, ointments, and lotions containing corticosteroids, vitamin D, or other active ingredients to reduce inflammation and promote skin healing. They may also include coal tar, salicylic acid, or other medications to help soften and remove scales.
- Systemic medications: These are prescription medications taken orally or by injection, such as biologics or methotrexate, that work to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Light therapy: Also known as phototherapy, this treatment uses UV light to slow the growth of skin cells and alleviate inflammation. However, it is typically administered in a controlled medical setting and not through tanning beds.
- Alternative therapies: While not scientifically proven, some individuals may find relief from complementary treatments such as acupuncture, fish oil supplements, or a gluten-free diet. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before attempting any new treatments.
In addition to these treatments, it is essential for individuals with psoriasis to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, stress management, and proper nutrition. This can help prevent flare-ups and improve overall skin health.
|Used to reduce inflammation and promote skin healing
|Prescription medications taken orally or by injection to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body
|Uses UV light to alleviate inflammation and slow the growth of skin cells
|Includes complementary treatments such as acupuncture, fish oil supplements, or a gluten-free diet
Regardless of the treatment option chosen, it is important for individuals with psoriasis to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account their individual needs and preferences.
Wrap it Up
Now that we’ve explored the question of whether tanning beds are good for psoriasis, the answer seems to be quite mixed. While some people have found relief from the symptoms, others have experienced negative side effects. Before making any decisions about treating your psoriasis, it’s always best to speak with a healthcare professional and discuss all possible options. We hope this article has been informative and helpful. Thanks for reading and please come back for more lifelike articles on health and wellness topics.