Attitudes and recommendation on vitamin D and impact on sun protection practices among German general practitioners evaluated by the network of dermato-oncologists, Onkoderm e.V.
Oncol Lett. 2012 Dec;4(6):1392-1396. Epub 2012 Sep 26.
Reinhold U, Dirschka T, Hartgens K, Kirchesch H, Ostendorf R, Petering H, Prieur H, Krähn-Senftleben G, Malaisse WJ.
Department of Dermatology and Dermatological Oncology, Medical Center Bonn Friedensplatz, Bonn;
Recommendations concerning the intake of vitamin D and/or sunlight exposure in the handling of patients with vitamin D deficiency remain a matter of debate. The present study of the German network of dermato-oncologists (Onkoderm e.V.) refers to an inquiry conducted among general practitioners on this and related issues. Based on 448 answers provided to 10 distinct questions, the consulted physicians recommended vitamin D intake (94% replies) and/or exposure to sunlight (63% replies) in their patients with vitamin D deficiency. An average of approximately 26 min daily unprotected exposure to sunlight at midday in spring and summer was recommended. Nevertheless, 91% of the physicians considered the use of creams protecting against sunlight to be judicious.
However, only 54% of physicians considered it worthwhile practice to protect oneself intensively against UV radiation. This study indicates evidence of a reduction in sun protection practices. Yet, approximately 25% of the patients were considered to present vitamin D deficiency and, hence, recommendations to prevent or correct the latter situation should not be ignored. Nevertheless, we consider that there is a need to focus messages regarding sun exposure and for continued sun protection practices. These messages should specifically focus on the vitamin D issue to ensure that the incidence of skin cancer does not increase.