Psoriasis is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by genetic and environmental factors such as stress, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Patients suffering from psoriasis may benefit from the sun and the hotter summer weather, should they are careful. These are the recommendations, Professor Antonio Costanzo, Supervisor of Dermatology at Humanitas, gave in an interview.

“In order to be healthy, exposure to the sun has to be gradual and with an adequate photoprotection. From 10-15 minutes, and then slowly increasing exposure time, having the right filter for your skin type. You have to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours, and avoid exposure to the sun in the middle of the day. In fact, burns and scalds may re-activate psoriasis or facilitate the creation of new plaques”.

It is also important to keep your skin hydrated, and to use emollients and mild detergents after exposing to the sun.

Speak with your dermatologist

In the mildest cases, the sun may reduce the gravity of psoriasis’s symptoms and sometimes start a complete regression. However, this benefit does not occur for every kind of psoriasis.

“In fact, there are particular kinds of psoriasis, such as pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis, that the sun affects negatively. You have to avoid it in these cases”, the professor explains.

Patients have to speak with their dermatologist, in order to discover whether they can expose to the sun and how.

You don’t have to interrumpt your treatment

Nowadays, the so-called, “therapeutic vacation” recommended to patients during summer, when they had to suspend old-generation medications (such as immunosuppressants), is not necessary anymore. The new personalized therapies are more effective, safe and with no toxicity problems. They don’t have to be suspended and their effects are long-lasting”, Prof. Costanzo said.

You have to speak with your dermatologist in this case too, in order to get the right advice according to your situation.