The Healing Sun: Sunlight and Psoriasis

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The Healing Sun by Richard Hobday presents evidence showing an increase in disease with a decrease in sunlight exposure..  This article discusses the topic: Sunlight and Psoriasis

How Sunlight Can Prevent Serious Health Problems

by Richard Hobday, taken from his book, The Healing Sun


Sunlight and Psoriasis

Sunlight therapy (Heliotherapy) is particularly effective in cases of psoriasis; a benign but chronic inflammatory skin condition which affects 1 -2 per cent of the World’s population. The degree to which psoriasis affects sufferers can vary from a very mild form with just a few scaly red patches on the elbows, to a more severe condition where sores completely cover the body, except the face. The disease can cause significant distress and a very restricted social life, and can require hospitalization. The symptoms of psoriasis can be relieved by the administration of a photosensitizing drug, such as 8-methoxypsoralen, by mouth followed by exposure to UVA radiation. Systemic immunosuppressive drugs, such as cyclosporin, are administered in severe cases. However, heliotherapy can clear up psoriasis without the need for such strong medication. It is often preferred to conventional therapies by patients and is particularly effective in severe cases.

During the last thirty years tens of thousands of patients, mainly from western Europe, have been given sunlight therapy for psoriasis at the Dead Sea, in Israel. The high mineral content of the water, combined with solar radiation, improves the condition of about 80 per cent of the patients who go there for medical treatment. The condition has also been treated successfully with sunlight in other parts of the world. In one recent study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology in 1998, some 46 Finnish patients received four weeks of heliotherapy treatment in the Canary Islands, Spain. They were sent abroad because in Finland solar radiation is too weak and sunny days are too infrequent to have any real impact on long-lasting psoriasis. The study showed that it was only really cost-effective to send patients to the Canaries for the sun if their psoriasis was so severe that they required regular hospital admissions or outpatient treatments. For psoriatic patients heliotherapy remains an effective, if rather expensive, alternative to systemic drugs.




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This entry was posted on Monday, May 20th, 2024 at 6:50 am and is filed under Books.

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