Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Clinic shares tips on how to get the benefit of the sun for people with a skin condition

James Stephens

CLEVELAND, OH — Everyone has probably been told that spending time out in the sun is good for skin, especially for someone that has skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. While that is true, Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist for Cleveland Clinic, said it’s also important to make sure not to overdo it.

“That’s a common question I get, ‘Can I get a little sun and see if that helps?’ and I think that’s something to think about, especially if you have psoriasis or atopic dermatitis,” said Dr. Piliang. “It’s important to keep in mind though, the sun increases your risk of skin cancer, especially the most deadly type of skin cancer—melanoma, so you still want to be careful and practice smart sun behaviors.”

Dr. Piliang said when planning to spend some time in the sun to help with your skin condition, make sure to only do it for five to ten minutes at a time. Getting sunburn is the last thing you want to happen on your skin.

She recommends covering areas you don't want to be exposed directly to the sun by using sunscreen. When it comes to sunscreen, the ones with an SPF over 30 are recommended, especially ones with broad-spectrum and are water-resistant. Wearing a hat and sun-protective clothing is also a good idea.

Even though the sun can be useful, Dr. Piliang believes it should not be used in place of other treatments such as prescription drugs and light therapy.

“There are so many treatment options out there beyond just the sunlight or moisturizers you can buy over the counter. The dermatologist can help you get your skin clear and on a treatment that is safe and effective and you can tolerate well,” she explained.

Although there is no known cure for skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis, Dr. Piliang believes that light therapy and medication can help.

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