Psoriasis has been known to mankind for a long time. For the first time it is mentioned in the Bible, but until now there is no complete understanding of the causes of these rashes. Scientists are trying to link this disease with complex immune and endocrine system disorders and also consider it hereditary. But absolute success was achieved only in one thing - there was a firm belief that this disease was not a manifestation of infection of the body. That is, psoriasis is not contagious.
What is psoriasis?
Another name for this disease is scaly lichen. It mainly affects the scalp, the outer side of the elbows and knees, on which dark pink scaly rashes appear. Of these, psoriatic plaques soon form. They have a pronounced white growth, consisting of dense scales, which cause cracking of the affected areas, accompanied by itching and the formation of oozing wounds. Despite the fact that the causes of rashes are unclear, the mechanism of their appearance is well understood. With the onset of psoriatic scales, the life cycle of epidermal cells in these and adjacent areas is drastically reduced to 4-5 days, in contrast to the normal 28-30 days.
Is psoriasis dangerous?
Since its etiology is unclear, but there is convincing evidence that the disease is systemic, affecting not only the skin, but also internal organs, leads to the following disorders in the body:
- the appearance of psoriatic-like changes on the mucous membrane of the urethra and bladder
- causes subacute conjunctivitis, lens sclerosis and other diseases of the eyes and eyelids
- with an exacerbation of the disease, an increase in the liver is observed with hepatocellular insufficiency and splenomegaly
- swollen lymph nodes
- there is muscle weakness, their atrophy with a tendency to progressive weight loss
It is possible to list for a long time the complications that psoriasis leads to, but from this short list it becomes clear that the disease is serious and dangerous. The situation is aggravated by the fact that currently therapeutic agents are only able to control and suppress the course of the disease, but not to cure it. Psoriasis is permanent but can be accompanied by long periods of remission.
What can cause the disease to exacerbate or cause it to relapse?
Despite the fact that the manifestations of psoriasis are not systematic, there are factors that can provoke the appearance of rashes in various areas of the skin. Therefore, patients should be aware of them and, if possible, pay attention to their influence. The following causes aggravate the course of the disease:
- Overweight. Note that among those who suffer from psoriasis, most of those who have varying degrees of obesity.
- Fatigue. Many patients note that their psychological reaction to traumatic situations and circumstances exacerbates the manifestations of the disease.
- Some medications taken by the patient for various reasons can cause a relapse.
- Damage and scratches of psoriatic plaques. It has been noted that in the vast majority of cases, mechanical irritation of the squamous lichen causes its growth and the appearance of new rashes in nearby areas.
- water procedures. In some people, after bathing or swimming in a pond, an exacerbation of the course of the disease is observed.
- The rays of the sun. Moderate exposure to sunlight in psoriasis is considered beneficial by doctors. But there are a number of patients who claim that such baths cause an exacerbation of the disease in them. Also, it doesn't matter how long they've been in the sun. Therefore, the question of whether it is possible to sunbathe with psoriasis does not yet have a clear answer. To decide for yourself how useful or harmful the sun's rays are in this case, it is necessary to take into account several factors at once: individual tolerance to the sun, color and type of skin, stage of the disease and its shape.
Ultraviolet for psoriasis: benefit or harm
- Light therapy as one of the treatments for psoriasis:
- PUVA therapy is photochemotherapy, the mechanism of action of which is quite difficult to understand. Often used in the treatment of exudative and vulgar psoriasis. Very effective for rashes on the scalp, palms and feet. Every week 3-4 sessions of ultraviolet irradiation are prescribed, until the psoriatic plaques disappear completely. On average, 15-25 procedures are required, including local exposure sessions.
- SFT therapy is selective phototherapy. For exudative and vulgar psoriasis, up to 5 procedures per week are prescribed. The radiation dose in the absence of erythema is increased each time. Full course of treatment - 20 - 30 sessions. It has a pronounced therapeutic effect in 85-90% of cases.
- UVB therapy is phototherapy, which is comparable in its effectiveness to PUVA therapy. The course of treatment is 20-30 procedures.
Psoriasis and solarium: benefit or harm?
The main difference between tanning in a solarium and in the sun is that in artificial conditions, the production of melanin occurs without exposure to dangerous ultraviolet radiation, especially UV-C rays, which are harmful to the skin during tanning. Solariums do not use this type of radiation. However, in the initial stage of the manifestation of the disease, artificial tan helps to cushion the development of rashes. Therefore, doctors do not recommend the treatment of psoriasis with a solarium, but they do not find contraindications to its use as a therapeutic agent.
The effect of radiation in a solarium on the skin
- UV-A rays have a beneficial effect on patients with psoriasis, seborrhea, acne, neurodermatitis.
- UV-B rays initiate the active production process of vitamin D3, which reduces the effect of stress on the body and, as is known, causes psoriatic skin rashes.
Therefore, a visit to the solarium cannot have a negative impact on the course of the disease and can, to some extent, cushion it. But why then are there people to whom artificial tanning brings only harm? The answer is that the combination and power of the lamps in solariums is different. When choosing a salon, you should ask about their spectral composition, one of the most important characteristics. The lamps are designed with various combinations of UV-A and UV-B radiation. For example, those with UV-B 1% or less are classic and those with UV-B over 1% are professional.
It is also important to have a reflector. If it is not present, the radiation affects the weakened skin and, if it is present, it becomes concentrated. The reflector can be placed both in the lamp itself and outside. Regardless of whether or not there is a reflective layer in the lighting device, you can tell if you look at the lamp through the light. If there is, the efficiency of its radiation is 10% higher than the conventional one.
Therefore, in order for the treatment of psoriasis with solarium to be beneficial and not harmful, it is necessary to choose the right tanning studio with the right combination of UV radiation. Excessive is always harmful to the skin and leads to the formation of tumors and other problems with it. The relationship between UV-A and UV-B rays is very important for patients with psoriasis. The best option here would be the following combination: UV-B waves with a length of 311 nm. and UV-A waves 300-400 nm. This ultraviolet radiation ratio has a Daavlin photo booth, which provides light of a narrow 311 nm nbUVB spectrum. Those who visit it notice a marked improvement in their condition. The course of therapy is 20-30 sessions.
Therefore, the question: does a solarium help with psoriasis can be answered with confidence - yes. But it is important not to recklessly choose a studio near the place of residence, but to be interested in the spectral characteristics of the lamps emitting in it. It is important to know that a vertical tanning method is preferable to a horizontal one. The time spent in the cabin must not exceed 5-6 minutes and the sessions must be alternated on alternate days. UV rays in moderate doses help strengthen the immune system. What is extremely necessary for a patient with psoriasis.