sunshine and skin

The Benefits & Cautions of Exposing Your Skin this Spring/Summer.

by: Dr. Aaron Hartman

Functional Medicine Expert &  
Special Guest writer from the greater concierge community.

Benefits of Sun Exposure

Exposing 90% or greater of your skin to the sun until you get a Minimal Erythema Dose (MED) will produce around 20,000 IU of Vitamin D in your skin. The MED is how much sun exposure it takes for your skin to turn slightly red. For white skin in the beginning of the season this is about 15–20 minutes. For pigmented skin, it can be up to 45 minutes initially.

Right now, we are experiencing an epidemic in Vitamin D deficiency due to our avoidance of the sun, working indoors, and use of sun blocks/sunscreens that prevent production of Vitamin D in our skin. Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with an increased incidence of many significant diseases. Low D is associated with an increased risk for the following cancers: melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer. Low D is also associated with Metabolic Syndrome, chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and increased cardiovascular disease. This is one of the reasons I prefer graded sun exposure with protective covering and limited sun blocks to high risk burn areas. This allows me to produce Vitamin D in my skin, yet prevents excessive sun exposure and sun burns. I will address this as the end of this article.

Continue reading at Richmond Integrative & Functional Medicine

Did you know?

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US where 1 in 8 people will get skin cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 50 will get melanoma. This makes skin protection important for everyone. However, sun exposure is tricky … you need sun exposure to make Vitamin D in your skin.