Does sunscreen hamper vitamin D synthesis in your body?

Does sunscreen hamper vitamin D synthesis in your body?

Sunscreen is a must-have in our skincare routine to eliminate sun damage. We use sunscreen on the exposed part of our body. 

However, some claims have been that prolonged use of sunscreen on your body reduces the body's ability to produce vitamin D. Recent research shows that sunscreen creates a shield on our skin to prevent UV rays from entering our skin. These UV rays help to produce vitamin D in our bodies. 

Role of vitamin D 

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our body. We get vitamin D by eating oily fish, egg yolk, milk, or through supplements, and from the sun. UVB rays of the sun are responsible for producing vitamin D in our bodies. 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that increases calcium and phosphorus absorption in our body. As a result, it regulates immunity and skin cell turnover and promotes wound healing. In addition, it has antioxidants that help to protect from free radicals and gives photoprotection from UV rays. Five to ten minutes of sun exposure, two to three times a week, is enough to produce vitamin D. 

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak muscles and bones, fatigue, low immunity, and much more. It can cause breakouts because the antioxidant property of vitamin D prevents acne. It also gives rise to skin rashes and treats skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.

No need to fear 

Wearing sunscreen helps to get protection from UVA and UVB rays. So you are thinking that wearing sunscreen on our skin would imply less vitamin D. But not wearing sunscreen has many demerits also. 

To find an answer, this writer talked to dermatologist Dr. Shaikh Salman Salam, MBBS, DDV (BSMMU). 

He shared, ''We would have to put on a thick layer of sunscreen every couple of hours for the entire duration when we are under the sun. Even people with high SPF daily still maintain adequate vitamin D levels." 

"Generally, people apply insufficient sunscreen and do not even reapply it routinely after sweating or any vigorous activity. As a result, all the sun-exposed areas are not covered properly. So it is unlikely to develop vitamin D deficiency even if you apply sunscreen daily. And no such sunscreen can give you a hundred per cent protection from UV rays.''

So, applying sunscreen does not deplete vitamin D production in our body. Vitamin D supplements and a healthy diet, while wearing sunscreen daily for a long time, allows you to up your vitamin D intake and highly reduce the risk of sunburns, tans, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer. 

Use a physical sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that protects from UVA and UVB rays. Make a habit of reapplying your sunscreen every two hours to get maximum protection from sun damage. 

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