Psoriasis has been known to humans 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 this skin rash. Scientists are trying to link this disease with complex disorders of the immune and endocrine systems, and even consider it hereditary. But absolute success is achieved in only one thing: there is a strong belief that the disease is 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 outside of the elbows and knees, where a dark pink scaly rash appears. Of these, psoriatic plaques soon form. They have a clear white growth, composed of dense scales, which give rise to cracking of the affected area, accompanied by itching and the formation of oozing wounds. Despite the fact that the cause of the rash is not clear, the mechanism of their appearance is well understood. With the onset of the appearance of psoriatic scales, the life cycle of epidermal cells in this area and adjacent areas decreases dramatically 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, it leads to the following disorders in the body:
- appearance of psoriatic -like changes in the mucous membranes of the urethra and bladder
- provokes subacute conjunctivitis, lens sclerosis and other diseases of the eyes and eyelids
- with exacerbation of the disease, an increase in the liver with hepatocellular insufficiency and splenomegaly is observed
- enlarged lymph nodes
- there is muscle weakness, their atrophy with a tendency to progressive weight loss
It is possible to list the complications that cause psoriasis for a long time, but from this short list it becomes clear that the disease is serious and dangerous. This condition is exacerbated by the fact that at present, therapeutic agents are only able to control and block the course of the disease, but do not cure it. Psoriasis is permanent, but may be accompanied by a long period of remission.
What can cause the severity of the disease or trigger its relapse?
Despite the fact that the manifestations of psoriasis are not systematic, there are factors that can trigger the appearance of rashes in various areas of the skin. Therefore, patients should be aware of this, and, if possible, be wary of their influence. The following causes worsen the course of the disease:
- Overweight. It is observed that among those with psoriasis, the majority of them have varying degrees of obesity.
- Pressure. Many patients realize that their psychological responses to traumatic situations and conditions exacerbate the manifestations of the disease.
- Some medications taken by patients for a variety of reasons can trigger a relapse.
- Damage and scratches on psoriatic plaques. It has been observed that in most cases, mechanical irritation of scaly lichen causes its growth and the appearance of new rashes in nearby areas.
- water procedures. In some people, after bathing or swimming in the pool, exacerbation of the course of the disease is observed.
- Sunshine. Moderate exposure to sunlight in psoriasis is considered beneficial by doctors. But there are a number of patients who claim that such baths cause exacerbation of the disease in them. Moreover, it does not matter how long they are under the sun. Therefore, the question of whether it is possible to sunbathe with psoriasis still does not have a clear answer. To decide for yourself how useful or harmful sunlight in this case, you need 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: benefits or dangers
- 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 abusive psoriasis. Very effective for rashes on the scalp, palms and feet. 3-4 sessions of ultraviolet irradiation are prescribed every week, until complete disappearance of psoriatic plaques. On average, 15-25 procedures are required, including local exposure sessions.
- SFT therapy is selective phototherapy. Up to 5 procedures a week are prescribed for exudative and vulgar psoriasis. The radiation dose in the absence of erythema is increased each time. Full course of treatment - 20 - 30 sessions. It has a significant therapeutic effect in 85-90% of cases.
- UVB therapy is phototherapy, which is comparable in effectiveness to PUVA therapy. The course of treatment is 20-30 procedures.
Psoriasis and solarium: benefits or dangers?
The main difference between tanning in a solarium and in the sun is that under artificial conditions, melanin production occurs without exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation, in particular, UV-C radiation, which is harmful to the skin during sun tanning. Solariums do not use this type of radiation. However, in the early stages of disease manifestations, artificial tanning helps to alleviate the development of the rash. Therefore, doctors do not recommend the treatment of psoriasis with a solarium, but they find no contraindications to its use as a therapeutic agent.
The effect of radiation in the solarium on the skin
- UV-A radiation has a beneficial effect on patients with psoriasis, seborrhea, acne, neurodermatitis.
- UV-B rays initiate the process of active production of vitamin D3, which reduces the effects of stress on the body, and they, as is known, trigger psoriatic rashes.
Therefore, a visit to the solarium should not have a negative impact on the course of the disease, and can, to some extent, alleviate it. But why are there people whose artificial tanning sessions only do harm? The answer is that the combination and power of lighting in a solarium is different. When choosing a salon, you should ask about the composition of their spectrum, one of the most important features. The lamp is designed with various combinations of UV-A and UV-B radiation. For example, those with UV-B of 1% or less are classics, and those with UV-B above 1% are professionals.
It is also important to have a reflector. If it is not present, then the radiation exposed to the skin becomes weak, and if it is present, then it is concentrated. The reflector can be located inside the lamp itself and outside it. Whether there is a reflective layer in the lighting device, you can understand if you see the lamp through the light. If any, then its radiation efficiency is 10% higher than conventional radiation.
Therefore, in order for the treatment of psoriasis with a solarium to be beneficial and harmless, it is necessary to choose the right tanning studio with the right combination of UV radiation. Excess it is always harmful to the skin, and leads to the formation of tumors and other problems with it. The ratio of UV-A and UV-B radiation is very important for psoriasis patients. The best option here is a combination of the following: UV-B waves with a length of 311 nm. and UV-A waves of 300-400 nm. This ultraviolet radiation ratio features a Daavlin photo booth, which delivers 311nm nbUVB narrow -spectrum light. Those who visited it noted a sharp improvement in their condition. The course of therapy is 20-30 sessions.
So the question: does a solarium help with psoriasis can be answered with confidence - yes. But it is important not to accidentally choose a studio that is close to the place of residence, but to be interested in the spectral characteristics of the emitting lights in it. It is important to know that the vertical tanning method is better than the horizontal method. Time spent in the cabin should not exceed 5-6 minutes, and sessions should alternate daily. UV radiation in moderate doses helps strengthen the immune system. What is essential for psoriasis patients.