Summer is the perfect time to treat psoriasis naturally. The sun in summer is like a drug for our skin as it supplies about 80% of the vitamin D we need daily.
1.The importance of vitamin D
Regarded as a hormone rather than a vitamin, it monitors the calcium absorbed by our intestine, checks calcium and phosphor levels in our blood and bones and is therefore essential for children’s growth, to prevent osteoporosis, a bone brittleness frequently found in menopausal women, and as an anti- inflammatory. Low levels of vitamin D may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory colitis.
2.Sun exposure. When and for how long
About 20 minutes a day on the naked skin, wearing a bathing suit or a t-shirt and shorts will supply the daily need of vitamin D. Fair skinned people do not need a long exposure. Tanning will make us assimilate vitamin D more slowly. In winter a 30 minute walk with uncovered face and hands should be enough.
UV radiation is very strong between 11 am and 4 pm, making it easy to get sunburnt. Height and seawater, snow or tanning mirrors’ reflection may increase its intensity.
3.Use creams to protect your skin
It is advisable to use creams with a filter suited to one’s phototype.
Sunscreens, while protecting us against UV rays, do not allow vitamin D synthesis. It is therefore suggested to use them in the hottest hours of the day, exposing the naked skin for at least 20 minutes when the sun is low and there is no risk of a sunburn.
4.Avoid overexposure as it could have adverse consequences
These are the most frequent pathologies caused by overexposure:
- Melanoma: overexposure to UV rays, i. e. sun rays, is the main risk factor of skin melanoma. Other known risks are an impaired immune system and some hereditary diseases.
- Basal cells carcinoma (BCC) and spinal cells carcinoma (SCC), are the most common forms of skin cancer, with about 2.8 million new cases diagnosed each year in the US. People affected by BCC in the past have higher chance to develop similar pathologies both in the same site of the first tumor as in other parts of the body. The main cause of BCC is sun exposure. The damage made by this tumor is the result of both a chronic and cumulative exposure to sunlight like daily exposure and an occasional and intense exposure that leads, for example, to the appearance of sunburns.
- Premature skin aging caused by sunburns.
5. The sun is our ally but we must pay attention to our skin’s health
The sun is essential for our life: it speeds up cell renewal and acts as a disinfectant blocking the reproduction of some bacteria, stimulates the formation of vitamin D and is also a natural antidepressant, as it increases the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness.
It is necessary to follow the rules and understand the feeling of distress caused by the sun.
6. Eating food rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C protects us from sun exposure
Food rich in antioxidants favours skin protection and strenghten our defense against free radicals (they are caused by external factors such as pollution, smoking and sun exposure). Antioxidants can be found in: apricots, melons, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes and last but not least in nuts. While food rich in Vitamin C like kiwis, oranges, lemons and in Vitamin A (also known as Retinol) helps the synthesis of molecules of the connective layer: they are responsible of skin hydration and elasticity. Among food rich in Vitamin A we can find eggs, cheese, spinach and broccoli. You can seehere the new food pyramid made by doctors.