News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Summer sun no fun for psoriasis sufferers

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Summer sun no fun for psoriasis sufferers

For people with active psoriasis, the hot summer months can be an uncomfortable time as they try to hide affected skin under clothing. However, relief may be in sight with an Auckland-based Vitamin D trial currently underway at Massey University’s Vitamin D Research Centre, and the research team is looking for more participants.

The trial has received funding from Lottery Health Research, and is being managed by PhD student Michelle Ingram as part of her doctoral thesis. Ms Ingram is excited by the potential an alternative low-cost treatment may offer.

“Traditional treatment of psoriasis can include topical lotions, creams, pills or injections, or phototherapy – which uses light to treat the condition,” she says. “They can be inconvenient, expensive, and increase the risk of other health problems. If we can determine the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements, this could give people with psoriasis another option for treatment.”

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious inflammatory disease of the skin, with an estimated one in 50 adults in New Zealand living with the condition. Plaque-based psoriasis is the most common type, and while it can be managed, there is no known cure.

For the trial, 112 Auckland-based psoriasis sufferers aged 18 or older, with plaque-type psoriasis in ‘active phase’ and stable for the past two months are needed. Volunteers must meet certain criteria and be able to attend five appointments at the Albany-based Human Nutrition Research Unit for assessments and samples over a one-year period. They don’t need to have a doctor’s referral and will be screened by a dermatologist before being accepted to the trial.

Ms Ingram says people with psoriasis often avoid normal activities such as swimming and going to the hairdresser when the condition is active, and it can have a significant impact on their self-esteem.

“Simple decisions, like what to wear, can become a major exercise in decision-making. Add that to the daily list of treatments that currently need to be endured, and living with psoriasis becomes very stressful. If we are able to prove that vitamin D can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, that’s a big step towards helping people with psoriasis lead a more normal life.”

The Vitamin D Research Centre will form part of Massey’s new College of Health in 2013, which will focus on illness and injury prevention rather than cure. The college will bring together specialists from fields ranging from food and nutrition, sport and exercise, rehabilitation, nursing, Māori and Pasifika health, public health, social work, health and safety, as well as researching the social and economic factors that underpin health and wellbeing.

For further information on the trial, or to register your interest, go to:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news