Intended for healthcare professionals

Vitamin D, sunlight and the skin: find the right exposure

Dermatologists need no persuasion that the ultraviolet (UV) component of sunlight, which comprises approximately 5% of terrestrial solar radiation, is largely responsible for the deleterious effects on the skin that are associated with sun exposure – most importantly in the induction of melanoma and other skin cancers. The ubiquitous acceptance of this belief has formed the basis of sun protection campaigns, hosted by public health agencies in many countries populated principally by people with white skin. However, there is an opposite side to the coin, in terms of the need for sunlight in vitamin D production and other perceived benefits.
Dermatology in practice 2008; 16(4): 18–20
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