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Can sunlight benefit eczema?

27 June 2017 08:11

Exposure to sunlight can benefit people with eczema

Exposure to sunlight can benefit people with eczema

Heading on holiday this summer? Researchers have suggested that sunlight could have some benefit for eczema sufferers.

The University of Edinburgh team, writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, says a beneficial compound is released in the skin when exposed to the sun.

Researchers say the benefits of sunlight 'stretch far beyond vitamin D'.

Itchy skin solution

The nitric oxide compound can, they say, offset the cause of itchy skin - the most common symptom of eczema. Tests found that inflammation is dampened when specialised immune cells are activated by light.

The team is now investigating whether therapies can be developed that mimic sunlight.

If you are heading on holiday, don't forget to arrange travel insurance first.

What the experts say

Lead researcher Dr Anne Astier, of the Medical Research Council Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Our findings suggest that nitric oxide has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and could offer an alternative drug target for people with eczema."

Professor Richard Weller, senior lecturer in Dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, said: "It is clear that the health benefits of sunlight stretch far beyond vitamin D and we are starting to fill in these blank spaces."