Dry Skin, Lotions, and Phototherapy

As the colder months approach, it is quite common for one’s skin to become dry and irritated, which is especially true for those suffering from psoriasis or eczema. But did you know that the lotion used to soothe your dry skin could be inhibiting your phototherapy effectiveness?

Some lotions contain UV absorbing materials that are intended to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays, but, if used before a phototherapy treatment, can also prevent the beneficial UV light emitted from phototherapy; this is known as the “sunscreen effect”.

While some lotions may prevent UV absorption, others may have the reverse effect and amplify the intensity of the light treatment. Certain lotion ingredients have the ability to act as photosensitizers and can create sensitivity to light when absorbed by the cells. This can be in many forms; namely drugs, lotions, oils, and foods.

For a list of common photosensitizers, click here.

What can you do?

Be mindful of the ingredients within your lotions and only apply lotion at ideal times. If your preferred lotion contains UV blocking ingredients, avoid applying before your treatment and instead, apply once finished. Also, be aware of any extra sensitivity or redness in the areas where the lotion is applied as the ingredients may be causing irritation.