Tag Archives: atopic dermatitis

To avoid allergies, be sure to be born in sunny seasons!

By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute…

I suppose that it’s asking a bit much to tell someone to be born in the right season. But if it were possible, it would probably help a person to avoid some allergies. A most interesting scientific study from Korea explored the relationship among birth season, sunlight exposure during infancy, and allergic disease. It came to some very intriguing conclusions that indicate that sun exposure during pregnancy, and during the first two years of life, is exceptionally important. [1] The researchers explored relationships between birth season, sunlight exposure, and several allergic diseases.

They introduced their research by stating that “The recent increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases is hypothetically attributed to immune dysregulation in turn caused by a reduction in exposure to sunlight.”

Here are their findings:

  1. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis, a skin allergy, was 24% higher in children born in winter than those born in summer.
  2. Birth in winter was associated with a 56% increase in the prevalence of food allergy (FA).
  3. In addition, the lifetime prevalence of allergic diseases except food allergy (FA) was higher in children who had experienced inadequate sunlight in the first two years of life, compared to those children who had adequate exposure. In those whose sunlight exposure was inadequate, the following increases in risk were noted:
  4. Asthma 40% increased risk
  5. Allergic rhinitis (AR) 40%
  6. Atopic dermatitis (AD) 26%

The researchers concluded that “Birth in winter may be associated with development of AD and FA. Inadequate sunlight exposure before the age of 24 months might possibly increase the risks of development of asthma, AR, and AD.”

Great research, and the results are what we would have expected. There is almost no limit to the disease-preventing power of the Sun.

[1] Hwang JM, Oh SH, Shin MY. The relationships among birth season, sunlight exposure during infancy, and allergic disease. Korean J Pediatr. 2016 May;59(5):218-25. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2016.59.5.218. Epub 2016 May 31.

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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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More on the Effects of Sunlight beyond Vitamin D

By Marc Sorenson, EdD

Drs. Asta Juzeniene and Johan Moan wrote a paper in 2012 that beautifully summarizes the effects of sunlight beyond the production of vitamin D.[1] Here are the highlights of their paper, as stated in the abstract. They discuss the separate affects of Ultraviolet B light (UVB) and ultraviolet A light (UVA), which are, of course, components of sunlight.

  1. UVB induces cosmetic tanning (immediate pigment darkening, persistent pigment darkening and delayed tanning).
  2. UVB-induced, delayed tanning acts as a sunscreen.
  3. Several human skin diseases, like psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma, can be treated with sunlight or artificial UV radiation (phototherapy).
  4. UV exposure can suppresses multiple sclerosis independently of vitamin D synthesis.
  5. UVA generates nitric oxide (NO), which may reduce blood pressure and generally improve cardiovascular health.
  6. UVA induced NO may also have antimicrobial effects.
  7. UVA induced NO may act as a neurotransmitter.
  8. UV exposure may improve mood through the release of endorphin.

It wasn’t mentioned in the paper, but we now know that sunlight also helps generate serotonin in the brain, which improves mood, and outside the body it is a potent disinfectant (see my recent blogs on those subjects). So those who claim that sunlight is harmful in any amount, must be living on a different planet. Embrace the Sun, but never burn.

[1] Asta Juzeniene and Johan Moan. Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production. Dermato-Endocrinology 4:2, 109–117; April/May/June 2012.

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