Tag Archives: eczema

Is the sunbed a Gianus Bifrons (two-headed god)?

Is the sunbed a Gianus Bifrons (two-headed god)?

Sunbeds, Good or bad?

Sunbeds may save lives.

Recent research comes to the conclusion that indoor tanning is a Gianus Bifrons,[1] which is interpreted as a two-headed god. One head, according to these researchers, is an increase in various skin cancers (a dubious claim). The other head is the ability of sunbeds to produce large quantities of vitamin D, increasing serum vitamin D concentrations up to two fold. In addition, this increase in vitamin D, they believe, could lead to a decrease in myriad diseases.

The authors of the paper state the following: “Therefore, some favorable effects [of tanning beds] against the risk of developing many human diseases, including non-skin cancers, cannot be excluded at first glance, although they may not be only linked to [higher] vitamin D status.” They also go on to suggest that more research should be performed to determine if the unfavorable effects of indoor tanning on skin cancers may be outweighed by the favorable benefits of amelioration of low vitamin D levels.

This research ignored many research studies showing that regular, non-burning sun exposure is protective against melanoma. In my upcoming book, Embrace the sun, about 14 different research studies are cited. All of these studies demonstrate a positive effect of sun exposure. There are also positive effects of sun exposure and sunbed exposure, beyond the ability to produce vitamin D. Nitric oxide (NO) is produced by both. NO is a vasodilator that lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

No increase in melanoma!

Perhaps the most important study to differentiate between the positive effects and negative effects of sunbed exposure is this one: A 20-year Swedish study demonstrated that women who used sunbeds were 23% less likely to die from any cause than women who did not use them.[2] This study also showed no increase in melanoma after the 20-year period.

So, what more do we need to know about the pros and cons of sunbed use?

Here are a few more positive effects of sunbeds on human health:

  • Sunbed use reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.[3]
  • Sunbed use strengthens bone.[4]
  • Sunbed use controls psoriasis and eczema.[5]
  • Sunbed use reduces chronic pain.[6], [7]
  • Sunbed use may help unborn children.[8]
  • Sunbed use reduces the risk of clots.[9]
  • Sunbed use is associated with lower breast-cancer risk.[10]
  • Sunbed use reduces the risk of death.[11]

[1] Giuseppe Lippi*, 1, Gianfranco Cervellin†, Elisa Danese. Indoor Tanning a Gianus Bifrons:

Vitamin D and Human Cancer. Advances in Clinical Chemistry 2017;20:1-16

[2] Lindqvist PG, Epstein E, Landin-Olsson M, Ingvar C, Nielsen K, Stenbeck M, Olsson H. Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality: results from the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. J Intern Med. 2014 Jul;276(1):77-86.

[3] P.G. Lindqvist, H. Olsson, M. Landin-Olsson, Are active sun exposure habits related

to lowering risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women, a prospective cohort

study?, Diabetes Res. Clin. Pract. 90 (2010):109-114.

[4] Tangpricha V, Turner A, Spina C, Decastro S, Chen TC, Holick MF. Tanning is associated with optimal vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration) and higher bone mineral density. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:1645-49.

[5] Radack KP, Farhangian ME, Anderson KL, Feldman SR. A review of the use of tanning beds as a dermatological treatment. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2015 Mar;5(1):37-51.

[6] Kaur M, Feldman SR, Liguori A, Fleischer AB Jr. Indoor tanning relieves pain. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2005 Oct;21(5):278.

[7] Taylor SL, Kaur M, LoSicco K, Willard J, Camacho F, O’Rourke KS, Feldman SR. Pilot study of the effect of ultraviolet light on pain and mood in fibromyalgia syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Jan;15(1):15-23.

[8]  Bukhari, M. Quoted in London Times April 27, 2008.

[9] Lindqvist PG, Epstein E, Olsson H. Does an active sun exposure habit lower the risk of venous thrombotic events? A D-lightful hypothesis. J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Apr;7(4):605-10.

[10] Yang L, Veierød MB, Löf M, Sandin S, Adami HO, Weiderpass E. Prospective study of UV exposure and cancer incidence among Swedish women. J Intern Med. 2014 Jul;276(1):77-86

[11] Lindqvist PG, Epstein E, Landin-Olsson M, Ingvar C, Nielsen K, Stenbeck M, Olsson H. Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality: results from the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. J Intern Med. 2014 Jul;276(1):77-86.

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UVB light prevents atherosclerosis by reducing inflammation.

UVB exposure benefits by Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute…

UVB is a spectrum of sunlight that is responsible for stimulation of vitamin D production in the skin. It also has many other effects, including the suppression of inflammation in the skin, and thus has been used to very successfully treat skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.[1] [2] [3] [4]

Since inflammation is also necessary to produce the condition of atherosclerosis (arterial plugging or occlusion) in arteries, it would be interesting to know whether UVB light might also have the same anti-inflammatory effects in those arteries. If so, the UVB effect could inhibit or eliminate atherosclerosis, and by so doing provide an entirely new treatment for heart disease and other vascular events such as stroke and intermittent claudication.

The idea that UVB could prevent atherosclerosis by reducing inflammation in arteries was recently studied by Japanese researchers.[5] [6] Using a mouse model, they demonstrated that UVB light irradiation, once weekly for 14 weeks, leads to an increase in the action of T-regulatory cells that inhibit inflammation. In addition, UVB exposure also reduced the production of another type of T-cell that is pro-inflammatory, and thereby proatherogenic (leading to the production of atherosclerosis). These two effects of UVB light reduce the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Or stated differently, the research shows that sun exposure is critically-important therapy to reduce and prevent heart and other vascular diseases.

Protect your heart by being sure to obtain sufficient non-burning UVB light from sun exposure or other sources such as the UVB lamps used by the researchers. It is important to note that neither skin cancer nor skin inflammation were observed following UVB exposure.

This is another breakthrough study that emphasizes the necessity of sun exposure for human health.

[1] National Psoriasis Foundation web site Oct. 2005.

[2] Yelverton CB, Kulkarni AS, Balkrishnan R, Feldman SR. Home ultraviolet B phototherapy: a cost-effective option for severe psoriasis. Manag Care Interface 2006;19:33-36, 39.

[3] Situm M, Bulat V, Majcen K, Dzapo A, Jezovita J. Benefits of controlled ultraviolet radiation in the treatment of dermatological diseases. Coll Antropol. 2014 Dec;38(4):1249-53.

[4] Gupta A, Arora TC, Jindal A, Bhadoria AS. Efficacy of narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy and levels of serum vitamin D3 in psoriasis: A prospective study. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016 Mar-Apr;7(2):87-92.

[5] Naoto Sasaki, Tomoya Yamashita, Kazuyuki Kasahara, Atsushi Fukunaga, Tomoyuki Yamaguchi, et al. UVB Exposure Prevents Atherosclerosis by Regulating Immunoinflammatory Responses. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016;36:00-00.

DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.116.308063.)

[6] Hafid Ait-Oufella, Andrew P. Sage. Editorial. The Sunlight. A New Immunomodulatory Approach of Atherosclerosis. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2017;37:7-9. DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.116.308637.)

 

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Dead Sea Sun Exposure heals Atopic Dermatitis in Children

By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute…

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common form of many types of eczema, an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted, or hardened.[1] UV radiation from sun exposure or sun lamps has been used successfully for decades for its treatment.[2] [3] 

In the latest study on AD, researchers studied 72 youth with AD who were given sun exposure of varying intensities at the Dead Sea in Israel.[4] The subjects were divided into three groups and were exposed to increasing sunlight amounts during 28-day periods in March 2014, October 2014 and March 2015.

Eighty-seven percent of the subjects showed good clinical results immediately, and after three months, 71% still showed good results. One very important result, as stated by the researchers, was this: “Higher cumulative exposure times correlated with better results and enhanced remission.”

Also noteworthy was the finding that no adverse effects occurred.

Chalk up one more victory for the sun in its battle against disease!

 

[1] Palmer DJ. Vitamin D and the Development of Atopic Eczema. J Clin Med. 2015 May 20;4(5):1036-50.

[2] Palmer DJ. Vitamin D and the Development of Atopic Eczema. J Clin Med. 2015 May 20;4(5):1036-50.

[3] Falk ES. UV-light therapies in atopic dermatitis. Photodermatol. 1985 Aug;2(4):241-6.

[4] Kudish A, Marsakova A, Jahn I, Gkalpakiotis S, Arenberger P, Harari M. Dead Sea ultraviolet Climatotherapy for children with Atopic Dermatitis. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2016 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12250. [Epub ahead of print]

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More on Sunlight and Eczema

By Marc Sorenson, EdD

Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted, or hardened.[i] Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of the many types of eczema, and UV radiation has been used successfully for decades in its treatment.[ii] An excellent paper by Dr. DJ Palmer mentioned the following regarding the use of UV light as a treatment:

  1. UV therapy was first used in the 1970s, when UVA radiation was used to treat atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions.[iii] The results were considered poor to fair, but created optimism going forward.
  2. In the 1980s, a combination of UVA and UVB therapy was used to treat atopic dermatitis, and in one investigation, it was shown that of 107 patients, 93% had good results, and the need for steroidal skin treatments (a typical treatment for the disease) decreased in half of the patients. A second experiment followed, in which 94% of the patients had good results and 85% of them had a decreased need for the steroid treatments.[iv]
  3. A 12-county European study reported in 2004, found the prevalence of eczema symptoms increased with latitude (indicative of less sunlight exposure).[v]
  4. In 2009, Italian research showed that seaside holidays led to complete resolution of atopic dermatitis in 91% of patients,[vi] which indicated positive effects of sunlight on the disease. The study also showed that the condition improved during summertime and deteriorated in the other seasons.
  5. A U.S. study of more than 91,000 children, reported in 2013 found significantly increased prevalence of eczema associated with several measures of lower solar UVB dose.

An investigation in children aged 0-17 years also established that sunlight exposure was associated with lessened prevalence of eczema.[vii] Children in the highest quartile (fourth) of exposure were about 20% less likely to experience eczema. Other research on young people directly assessed sunlight exposure in the first 16 years of life and compared it to the risk of atopic allergic diseases. It demonstrated that high sunlight exposure during summer holidays or weekends was significantly associated with reduced eczema.[viii] However, as the researchers stated, “Increased sun exposure during summer holidays in adolescence was associated with reduced eczema and rhinitis risk, independently of measured vitamin D levels. This is another of the studies that indicates sunlight produces salubrious effects beyond its ability to stimulate vitamin D production.

[i] Palmer DJ. Vitamin D and the Development of Atopic Eczema. J Clin Med. 2015 May 20;4(5):1036-50.

[ii] Palmer DJ. Vitamin D and the Development of Atopic Eczema. J Clin Med. 2015 May 20;4(5):1036-50.

[iii] Lynch WS, Martin JS, Roenigk HH Jr. Clinical results of photochemotherapy. The Cleveland Clinic experience. Cutis. 1977 Oct;20(4):477-80

[iv] Hannuksela M, Karvonen J, Husa M, Jokela R, Katajamäki L, Leppisaari M. Ultraviolet light therapy in atopic dermatitis. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh). 1985;114:137-9.

[v] Weiland SK, Husing A, Strachan DP, Rzehak P, Pearce N. Climate and the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema in children. Occup Environ Med 2004;61:609-15.

[vi] Patrizi A, Savoia F, Giacomini F, Tabanelli M, Gurioli C. The effect of summer holidays and sun exposure on atopic dermatitis. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Aug;144(4):463-6

[vii] Silverberg JI, Hanifin J, Simpson EL. Climatic factors are associated with childhood eczema prevalence in the United States. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jul;133(7):1752-9

[viii] Kemp AS, Ponsonby AL, Pezic A, Cochrane JA, Dwyer T, Jones G. The influence of sun exposure in childhood and adolescence on atopic disease at adolescence. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2013 Aug;24(5):493-500.

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