Mike Marenick's Blog

  • Use Light Therapy To Help Your Psoriasis During The Winter

    People who suffer with psoriasis know that with the cold winter months their psoriasis will get worse.  Part of this comes from the dry air that surrounds us from all the heaters. But most people don’t realize the lack of exposure to sunshine is also causing their psoriasis to worsen.

    A significant amount of research has shown that vitamin D is critical for our body to control psoriasis.  The simple act of exposing our body to sunlight causes it to naturally produce vitamin D.  In the winter we are indoors more than we are out and the intensity of the sun is much less than in the summer.  So during the colder months our bodies often lack the vitamin D that is necessary to control this skin condition and it flares up.

    Light therapy is simply the act of exposing our skin to controlled or small amounts of UVA and UVB light.  This can be done using light therapy machines or even with tanning beds.  Always remember that excessive exposure of this type can damage your skin so tanning beds are not the best solution.  So if you choose to use a local tanning salon please be sure to minimize the amount of time you are under the light during each session.

    There are two other things you can do to help improve your skin condition during the winter months.  The first is the simple act of taking a vitamin D supplement on a daily basis.  Vitamin D can be found in most any drug store and 400iu is the recommended daily allowance.  Secondly you need to make sure you are using a rich topical cream during the winter.  Many people use lighter lotions during the warmer months and during the winter these lotions simply don’t provide the protective barrier that is needed to hold the moisture on your skin.  A thicker cream with rich vitamins and nutrients will protect your skin and keep it moist and soft rather than dry, cracked and irritated.  If you suffer with psoriasis of the scalp or dandruff problems you should consider using a scalp oil during the winter as well.  Scalp oils can be applied at night and simply shampooed out in the morning.