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Can UV light benefit skin conditions?

The number of Consol customers using the facilities to successfully treat skin conditions are on the rise. Our customers report dramatic, confidence boosting and in some cases, life changing results through regular sessions on our beds and it's fast becoming apparent that exposure to UV light has many more benefits that simply achieving a sun kissed look.


In search of some answers, we took to the internet to find out why. According to the 'Life Science Daily' news desk, patients suffering from psoriasis or other types of skin diseases could benefit from ultraviolet light emitted from commercial tanning beds, a low-cost and effective option to medical phototherapy, according to an expert on the treatment of psoriasis.


Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes red and flaky skin. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis can be addressed with various topical treatments like corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation and relieve itching, biologic drugs that target specific parts of the immune system, or other types of oral or injected medications. Psoriasis also is commonly treated with artificial ultraviolet light, known as phototherapy, which may be expensive if performed in a doctor’s office and inconvenient for some patients. “We have some evidence that going to a tanning bed was the most common form of phototherapy that psoriasis patients use,” said Dr. Steven Feldman, a professor of dermatology, pathology and public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
''Some patients choose a medical facility for treatment or opt to purchase phototherapy equipment for their home.'' Feldman told Life Science Daily. “But if those aren’t reasonable options, just finding a tanning bed costs so much less than medical phototherapy,” he said.

Controlled exposure to ultraviolet A or UVB radiation can both effectively treat psoriasis, said Feldman, who is the director of the Psoriasis Treatment Center at Wake Forest Baptist and a former member of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Advisory Board. Feldman took part in a Wake Forest School of Medicine study in 2015 that reviewed the use of tanning beds as a dermatological treatment for different skin conditions.


“Selected use of commercial tanning beds in the treatment of dermatologic conditions may be another useful and effective treatment for those patients with an inability to access office-based or home-based phototherapy,” the study concluded.

The use of tanning facilities to treat other types of skin diseases with phototherapy also could help patients with atopic dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, vitiligo, alopeca and itchy skin, the study found. “While the use of tanning beds may not be right for every patient, in some patients the benefits of tanning beds as a source of UV therapy for their dermatological disease may be beneficial,” the study said.


Phototherapy may not be appropriate for every psoriasis patient. Patients with lighter skin who are more susceptible to sunburns should use caution and be carefully monitored by a professional.

When prescribed for patients with skin conditions, phototherapy may involve briefly exposing skin to UV rays for two or three times a week for several weeks. A combination of phototherapy and certain medications also may be prescribed.
Individuals with psoriasis may also see some improvement by exposing their skin to natural sunlight. Brief, daily exposure to small amounts of sun may improve psoriasis but it is still essential to take care not to over expose with any form of  UV light.

 

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