Our appearance contributes to our sense of wellbeing, so it’s no surprise that eczema sufferers consistently report that their condition reduces their self-confidence. If you suffer from eczema, you are not suffering alone. It has been estimated that up to 3 percent of the world’s adult population suffers from this debilitating condition.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the appearance of the condition. Sunlight has been long credited with improving a range of skin conditions, but is tanning good for eczema? Answers Below!
The healing power of the sun
Sunlight has been credited with healing powers since the dawn of time because of its unique ability to provide us with Vitamin D. Medical professionals recommend that people of all ages spend at least 20 minutes a day soaking up direct sunlight. It sounds like a short time, but 20 minutes of direct rays are enough to give you your daily recommended dose.
Vitamin D is essential for us because it enables us to absorb the calcium we consume and as a result, allowing us to grow and maintain strong healthy bones. When adults receive less vitamin D than their daily dose of this all-important vitamin, it results in a general weakening, a poor overall health, and various skin ailments, such as – you guessed it, eczema.
Because of this obvious link, this has led many chronic eczema sufferers to experiment with large doses of sunlight, in the form of tanning, which has proved a popular method for reducing seasonal flare-ups of the condition. But interestingly, the effect of sunlight on the skin proves was recently discovered to be much more complex than we originally thought.
The discovery of immune-system stimulation
In a research report published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, (June 2017) scientists released a breakthrough discovery. Seeking to discover the mechanism behind eczema improvement following phototherapy, scientists observed a chemical reaction in the skin, as a result of sun exposure, served to strengthen the immune system of patients experiencing eczema.
So while it was the sun doing its job, it was actually the skin’s unique response that provided the unique healing that scientists observed.
This theory is still in the process of going through the steps required to deliver this therapy to patients en masse, but this discovery means that sunlight will no longer be required in the treatment and management of eczema. Instead, new approaches, such as the application of the compound nitric oxide will be used in place of phototherapy devices.
This discovery highlights the role of the immune system in curing and managing the condition and should serve as a guide for those looking to manage their condition now and in the future.
Tanning is good for eczema
While you’re waiting for nitric oxide to be available to consumers, the best way to get benefit from the effects of tanning is to spend time outdoors. However, health professionals generally warn against uncontrolled tanning as a method to improve your skin. If you choose uncontrolled tanning, meaning exposure to the sun, then you should be aware that this choice comes with the real possibility of future skin cancers.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no scientific evidence that confirms a tan or a base tan provides you protection against sunburn, meaning any damage your skin endures is damage, plain and simple. But as we have seen, both scientific and anecdotal evidence confirms tanning is good for the reduction of eczema.
Tanning provides the skin with a burst of UVA/UVB light, both of these wavelengths are credited with improving the immune system therefore improving the appearance of skin affected by the ailment. The best way to do this is under controlled conditions, such as through hospital-approved light therapy.
Can sunbeds help eczema?
As standard sunbeds provide the same quality of light you receive from the sun, sunbeds are capable of providing eczema busting results. The benefit of sunbeds is that it can be used any season and in any weather, meaning you don’t have to wait until summer to get your skin enhancing fix. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that confirms sunbeds are an effective way to manage eczema flare-ups.
As popular opinion has turned against sunbeds, and regulations have become more demanding worldwide, innovative manufacturers have created a new kind of sunbed which provides a more controlled range of sunlight, known as UVB light.
If you want to make a large investment in the quality of your skin, or if you have a chronic eczema condition that doctors have confirmed you’ll have to manage for life, then it is worth investigating whether the outright purchase of a UVB full-body sunbed is a good choice for you.
Light therapy devices improve skin conditions
These days there are plenty of affordably-priced devices designed to deliver sunlight to patients with skin conditions such as eczema. These machines were initially only hospital managed, but the success of UVB light therapy for a range of conditions was picked up by industry, who have created an impressive range of in-home appliances which you can use to obtain the health benefits of the sun, any time you like.
Phototherapy, or light therapy, provides filtered light direct to the patients’ skin. This means that UVA is filtered out, as it has the ability to penetrate too deep, meaning it can be the cause of skin cancer. UVB, on the other hand, has been proven to only affect the outer layer of your skin, meaning UVB on its own is effective enough on its own at providing the benefits of sunlight. To demonstrate the benefits, here is a brilliant before and after video by Michelle of Pure2RawTwins, who demonstrates just how effective light therapy devices can be in the fight against eczema.
A summer benefit or a winter ailment?
Many eczema suffers report that their eczema worsens in winter and improves in the summer months. While this is credited to the summer sun, isn’t it also a possibility that the immune system, already overloaded with winter ailments, is responsible?
Boost your immune system year round with a high intake of fruits rich in vitamin C, the king of immune-strengthening antioxidants. In the vegetable aisle, indulge in vitamin-rich produce such as broccoli, spinach, red peppers, and garlic. Tumeric is also known for its immune boosting abilities, as well as antioxidant-rich green tea. When it comes to foods that increase skin’s quality as well as boosting immunity, you can’t go past zinc-rich seafood.
Consider an immune-boosting diet
Sunlight plays an important role in reducing eczema, but is that a side effect of the tan or a side effect of the increase in the amount of vitamin D absorbed into the system? It is a great question and as we have seen it is difficult to solve. However, many doctors recommend their patients take supplements to boost their levels of vitamin D.
As we have learned, it is the effect of sunlight on the immune system as well as the effect of vitamin D which is credited with improving eczema. It makes sense to strive to boost your immune system further, by focusing on a diet that strengthens your entire body.
Immune-system supporting health choices
If you consider the effect of supplements on the immune system, and the immune boosting effect as a whole, then it makes sense to consider embarking on a lifestyle which integrates healthy choices. If you prevent your immune system from being run down, then it makes sense that your body will be able to handle the task of defending against eczema on its own. According to Harvard Health, there are several engage in daily to prevent getting sick.
Fake tans suitable for eczema affected skin
If you’re a beauty fanatic like us here at tanoholic, then you’re probably interested in how to look beautiful now without putting your future beauty at risk. We think the best way to get the benefits of immune-boosting sunlight (without a future of dreaded wrinkles!) is to combine the hospital-approved methods of UVB phototherapy with an intensive fake tan regime.
But having skin that is affected by eczema and having the desire to fake tan seems like a catch-22; you want to indulge in the latest product offerings but you don’t want to put fake tan on any areas of skin that appears patchy. The problem is most fake tan brands recommend applying their product to skin that has already been exfoliated to a smooth finish, in order to prevent the product from creating a blotchy tan, which is a look nobody wants.
What to look for in an effective self-tanner
The most important thing you should look for in a self-tanner if you have eczema affected skin is the ability to build up a base level gradually. This means tinted moisturizers and products that build up slowly (check price on Amazon) over time work wonders. It is also best to select self-tanners that combine moisturizing products.
The worst choice would be to a tanning spa and get a spray tan in a deep hue. This would most likely dry darker in the areas you have eczema, making your condition worse. A simple, gentle product with a natural fade is the best possible thing you could use. Here is an excellent review by YouTuber BusyBeeCarys, who shows you how it’s done.
The Best Fake Tan For Eczema
How Now Brown Cow Gradual Tanning Cream is a greatest and cheapest solution to take a fake tan for very problem and sensitive skin.
- Gradual Tanning Cream
- With Milk Protein for Skin Elasticity
- Purified Green Tea Extract (90% EGCG) for Anti-Oxidants
- Natural Ingredients
- Sometimes not available to buy
Checklist to boost immunity, reduce eczema, and get a great tan
- Consider supplementing Vitamin D and Vitamin E
- Talk to your doctor about hospital-managed light therapy or phototherapy
- Call your local tanning salon and ask whether they provide UVB-only booths
- Consider purchasing your own hand-held UVB phototherapy device or investing in a more expensive UVB full-body tanning booth
- Buy a gradual tanning lotion that slowly builds up to a deep tan
- Expose affected areas to 20 minutes of sunlight every day
- Eat for immunity – eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables every day
Practice immune system boosting habits
- Sleep well and practice stress-relieving techniques
- Get physical and maintain a healthy BMI
- Remember to keep clean
- Reduce your alcohol intake and be smoke free
- Ensure you cook food adequately to prevent illness
- Randomized controlled trial using vitamins E and D supplementation in atopic dermatitis
- Vitamin D Status and Efficacy of Vitamin D Supplementation in Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Scientists uncover how sunlight on skin reduces eczema inflammation
- Tanning: Does a base tan prevent sunburn?
- 15 Foods That Boost the Immune System
- An Overview of the Different Types of Eczema
- How to boost your immune system