Do Sunbeds Help Psoriasis?

by | Jan 11, 2023

We understand the pain that psoriasis sufferers can endure when outbreaks occur and spread all over the body. Some forms of psoriasis can be minor, only needing creams and skin-applying remedies, but more severe and chronic conditions may need more scientifically proven options.

UVB Light Phototherapy, or light therapy, is a psoriasis treatment your dermatologist might recommend as part of your psoriasis treatment plan when other strategies haven’t helped enough. Across the NHS, there are very little to no spaces available for this form of treatment, with many people waiting multiple years before accessing these heavily proven systems.

This is where many people resort to sunbeds as a form of cheap therapy to help their condition.

Tanning beds are not a risk-free alternative to UVB phototherapy machines. They do not contain the correct amount of UVB light to thoroughly fix your skin condition, with many people using sunbeds and coming off worse a few weeks down the line. In contrast to phototherapy in a medical setting, tanning beds may be more affordable and have more convenient hours, but by purchasing your own machine, you can access a much more reliable form of therapy from the comfort of your own home.


Do Sunbeds Help With Psoriasis?

Tanning beds deliver only UVA light, which does NOT treat psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation does not recommend tanning beds to treat psoriasis mainly due to the release of UVA light. They won’t clear your psoriasis, because UVA light doesn’t work very well on its own.

Exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) light however does work by slowing the growth of skin cells, essentially turning off your plaque-making mechanism — sometimes for up to a year — and clearing large areas of psoriasis. The UVB light and the machines that provide it have been tested and calibrated to maximise treatment success, whereas tanning beds do not.

24 Lamp Vertical light Unit – Fitted with 12 x 6ft Philips TL 100W/01 UVB (17%) Narrowband Lamps (311 NM) and 12 x 6ft high UVB (3.4%) Lamps

Handheld UV308E1 UVB Unit

24 Lamp Narrowband Phototherapy Unit – Fitted with 24 x 6ft Philips TL 100W/01 UVB (17%) Narrowband Lamps (311 NM)

Moreover, skin cancer is a greater risk with a tanning bed, due to the UVA light they emit. Unlike dermatologist-prescribed phototherapy, which is targeted to just areas with psoriasis, a tanning bed exposes your entire body to UV rays. This means your risks for skin cancer and cataracts are elevated. We have smaller, more handheld devices to target specific areas of the body, as we understand the inconvenience of larger machines, especially when you are not susceptible to psoriasis all over the body.

By completing this form of treatment at a controlled rate, you will be able to see the benefits 6-8 weeks after the process starts. For example, German doctors found that three sessions over nine days with a new type of excimer laser delivered safe and effective results.

To summarise, of course, sunbeds can provide us with some quick colour, but does it actively improve and clear your skin? Do sunbeds help psoriasis? I’m afraid not. Dermatologists and medical professionals alike both discourage the use of sunbeds to treat skin conditions. Tanning beds will often clear up the skin for a short amount of time, but once worn off, your condition often comes back worse off from the lack of consistency your skin is getting in terms of light and the damaging effects this UVA light has on your skin.

UVA light without medication, such as psoralen, is relatively ineffective at treating psoriasis as it primary effect is to react to the skin by burning or darkening (tanning) it. This after all is the primary use for sunbeds, and yet people are still surprised to learn they do not help with skin conditions. UVA and UVB light are completely different in their effect on the skin long term. By choosing to hire or buy your own UVB light therapy machine for the home, you are much more likely to see results off the back of using it. If you are looking for a psoriasis sunbed, then our range of machines are scientifically proven to treat chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis.