Many different people ask us at Maine Laser Skin Care about vitamin D, especially during the spring and summer. Many people believe that sun exposure is the best way to get vitamin D in their system.
Some of these same people even contend that using sunscreen will result in them becoming vitamin D deficient. Both of these beliefs are assumptions, and they also happen to be absolutely false.
While vitamin D is essential for your bone strength and your immune system, us humans only produce a relatively small amount of vitamin D from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. For most people of Caucasian origin, 5 to 10 minutes of direct midday sun per day results in the limited production of vitamin D that your body can produce in a day.
Unfortunately, spending more than 10 minutes per day in the sun in an attempt to increase vitamin D levels has serious effects on the skin. In addition to aging effects, 80-90% of all skin cancers are associated with excess ultraviolet ray exposure.
Studies have shown that regular use of sunscreens that have an SPF of 30 or more can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by 40-50%, and reduce skin aging by 24%. Research in the dermatological and scientific literature has never found that using sunscreen leads to or aggravates vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D for humans can be obtained more safely and more effectively by eating oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, etc.) and vitamin D fortified foods such as orange juice, milk, and yogurt. Vitamin D supplements are also readily available and not expensive.
Save your skin with sunscreen. Plus, get your essential vitamin D through your diet and supplements for the best effects on your skin care and health.
These are great things to keep in mind for Skin Cancer Awareness Month especially! Enjoy the upcoming beautiful Maine weather, but continue to protect your largest organ, your skin.