Are some skin conditions better in summer?
Reviewed by our clinical team
We all know that too much sun can be dangerous, as it can cause sunburn and increase your risk of skin cancer. However, some sun exposure each day is also a good thing as it stimulates the production of vitamin D. Some people with certain skin conditions also find that sun exposure helps improve their skin.
Why does my skin improve in the summer?
If you’ve noticed that your skin condition improves in the summer, there may be a number of factors at play.
Sunlight is made up from rays with different wavelengths. One type of rays is UV light- this is not visible to the human eye. Although UV light is the light that can cause sunburn, it is also thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is why UV light is used in phototherapy for skin conditions like psoriasis.
Another aspect may be mood, as skin conditions can often be worsened by stress. You might find that being out in the sun boosts your mood and makes you feel more relaxed – especially in a holiday setting!
What’s important to remember is that you should always practise sun safety during the summer – no matter how well your skin responds to the sun. This means spending time in the shade during the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm in the UK) and wearing sunscreen on exposed skin.
Does psoriasis get better or worse in summer?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes plaques: patches of skin that are red, scaly, and sore or itchy. Symptom flares can be caused by a number of different things, including stress, smoking, certain medications and hormonal changes.
One important treatment for psoriasis is phototherapy. This is where affected patches of skin are exposed to certain types of UV light within a controlled medical setting. This treatment is often really effective in reducing symptoms.
With this in mind, it’s understandable that people with psoriasis often find that their skin improves in the sunshine. If you have psoriasis you will probably find that spending time outside during the summer reduces the severity of your symptoms.
However, it’s really important to still take precautions when you’re in the sun. You should wear sunscreen on skin that's not affected by psoriasis to avoid sunburn, as this can actually trigger new patches of psoriasis.
It’s also important to remember that certain treatments, can make your skin much more sensitive to light. Please tell your GP or specialist about any other medicines you take or use to make sure they are not causing excessive sun sensitivity. This is also known as "photo- sensitivity".
Is the sun good for eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, sometimes sore and cracked. It usually is a long-term condition, but it can improve a lot or even clear completely.
Whatever your skin condition, it’s important to make sure that you wear sunscreen when you’re outside in the sun. If you’ve struggled to find a sun cream that doesn’t irritate your skin, read this article for some helpful tips: Sun cream for eczema prone skin.
Does the sun help acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that’s caused by an excess of sebum – the oily liquid produced by the sebaceous glands to keep the skin and hair lubricated. In people with acne, excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and plugs the hair follicles in the skin, creating spots.
There are various treatments available. These generally work by killing bacteria on the skin, getting rid of dead skin, and reducing inflammation.
Some people find that spending time in the sun during the summer months also helps to improve their skin. This may be because the anti-inflammatory effects of UV light help to reduce swelling and redness.
However, even if you find that your acne improves in the summer, it’s still not recommended that you go without sunscreen.
Many acne treatments, including benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and antibiotics, make the skin much more sensitive to sunlight, so it’s really important to take extra care if you’re currently using these kinds of products – check with your GP or pharmacist first if you aren’t sure.
Get prescription acne medication from Online Doctor
If you’re currently struggling to manage your acne and you think you might need prescription treatment, visit the Online Doctor clinic. We can prescribe a range of effective treatments which should help bring your symptoms under control.