Dermatologist Questions Eczema

Is sun exposure a normal way to bring relief from Eczema?

My 6 year old is suffering from intense eczema. Apart from the medications, the doctor has advised 30 minutes of sun exposure everyday as a normal course of treatment. I am worried because I believed people with sensitive skin should stay away from the sun. Is sun exposure a normal way to treat eczema?

7 Answers

Although sunlight can be helpful to eczema, it is not the standard treatment for it. We use sunlight more for Psoriasis and use narrow band ultraviolet light for a specific amount of seconds. Sun exposure should always be limited and with the use of physical sunblock. Nobody should be exposed to the sun between 10-4. The suns rays cause skin cancer and premature aging.
For eczema you can use good skin hygiene and skin barrier creams such as aquaphor and cerave. Your dermatologist can also prescribe creams that will treat the eczema itself.

Suzanne Sirota Rozenberg, DO, FAOCD
Some young patients do quite well with sunlight or ultraviolet treatment for eczema - some, however, do not. You have to be careful not to overheat, not to get excessive UV exposure.

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This can be effective, but only if you live where outdoor sunlight is available. We often try treating with an in office lightbox. This is only effective in a small group of patients so if not helpful then stop.
Exposing 6yo to strong sun and UV is not a good idea. Many other ways to treat the problem, eg. acupuncture.
Well, the answer is two sided...if you achieve a "suntan" gradually, without burning, sweating or getting hot, with applying a sunblock and a ceramide moisturizer like Cerave, cetaphil or Eucerin eczema, then the skin's allergic state gets down-regulated and the symptoms get better....and maintain with 2-3 times a week. Just understand and accept the DNA damage to the skin which can result in skin cancers later on.
Sun can help, but you have to be cautious to avoid sunburn. Start with 2 to 3 minutes, especially with very fair skin, and it may be all you need. But there’s new medication available that maybe more appropriate. Would suggest you to see a dermatologist.
Not only normal, but one of the best things you can do, not just for your son's eczema, but for his health and well-being in general.