According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) about 7.5 million Americans suffer from the chronic, autoimmune skin disease called psoriasis that causes irritated, flaky and thick patches of red skin; some forms of psoriasis are also associated with joint pain. Most medical treatment for the often painful and quality-of-life robbing disease center around controlling symptoms with medications like cortisone. But now research just published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology indicates there's a non-drug way to clear and maybe cure the disease naturally -- exposure to vitamin D boosting UV-B light.
Comprising the "tanning rays" from the sun that are blocked by sunscreen and long feared for supposedly causing wrinkles and "age spots", UV-B light, it turns out, actually promotes health by increasing levels of vitamin D. Now a team of scientists from St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, have found that treatment with narrow-band UV-B rays greatly increases serum levels of vitamin D in the wintertime. And they've shown how adequate exposure to UV-B light therapy can clear psoriasis. In fact, the new finding is powerful evidence that a lack of the "sunshine" vitamin is involved in the development and worsening of this skin condition.