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Overview Skin and vitamin D

From the Sun

simple graphic

Notes on what should be on this page

Number of minutes: vs latitude, season, etc
Suntan oil reduces the reflection - so as to reduce by about 50% the number of minutes needed
Noontime sun
Vitamin D & poorly understood other photo products from UVB
UVB and UVA spectrum
Very little UVB after your shadow is longer than you are
get 1/4 dose needed to get pink skin the next day
There are two natural limits to the amount of vitamin D you can get from the sun: tanning, excess vitamin D is destroyed by the UV (perhaps UVA)
Careful of the sunscreen used - some still do not block UVB. By blocking UVA you will indeed increase the amount of time needed to get a tan, but sill wrinkle the skin due by passing thru the UVB
Careful about use of sunscreen without sunglasses.
Can get vitamin D and a tan in the shade - Shade has an approximate SPF of 3
No UVB (and thus no vitamin D) gets thru window glass - but UVA, which can cause a tan, does pass thru glass
Sometimes high degree of reflection fromm snow and water - decreasing amount of time to get vitamin D or a tan by 30-40%
If sun-burn try Aloe and ??

Lots of UVB or exposed skin did not increase vitamin D generated – Nov 2010

From UV bulbs

Tanning salon

Some Salons have only UVA - thus get a tan WITHOUT any vitamin D being generated in the skin

Reptile bulbs

For less than $100 should be able to setup a UVB bulb and timer made to provide vitamin D for reptiles
Some reptile bulbs are UVA and UVB, while a few are narrowband UVB

Vitamin D bulb for use in the home

For both Sun and UV Bulb

protect the eyes

Ways to increase the amount of vitamin D you get from the sun
Opinion: sun better than UV better than vitamin D

Perhaps the UV radiation from a bulb and the sun can be in limited doses - so that the body gets a chance to repair the damage before the next session.
There are some studies which indicate that the cumulative radiation dose is not the concern - for Xrays, radioactivity, etc, but rather the amount per dose.

Myth: When your shadow is as long as you are you get NO vitamin D

Standing you get 1/2 as much UVB when at 45 vs 90 degrees

Lying down is similar

CLICK HERE for details

No – 10 minutes per day of sun/UVB is NOT enough

5-10 minutes is enough IF you are near the equator
AND young
  AND not obese
     AND have light skin
      AND it is summer
        AND it is the middle of the day
          AND you have lots of skin exposed to the sun
            AND you are lying down
              AND you are not wearing sunscreen.
Minutes of sun to get 40 ng of vitamin D

See also VitaminDWiki

The MOST Common Deficiency in All Skin Diseases (Vitamin D) - 5 minute video - May 2024

Dr. Eric Berg

  • In this video, we’re going to talk about dermatitis. Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin, and there are many different types.
  • At their core, skin problems are either related to an allergy or an immune reaction. You can consider many cases of dermatitis as an over-reactive immune system.
  • Topical and oral steroids are the most common treatments of dermatitis. They work by suppressing the immune system. Antibiotics are also commonly used to treat cases of dermatitis but often lead to a secondary infection.
  • The superficial layer of your skin contains a multitude of microbes and acts as a barrier for your lymphatic tissue and blood vessels. These tissues are full of immune cells ready to protect you against foreign invaders.
  • Dermatitis seems to respond positively to vitamin D. For example, vitamin D works to mitigate symptoms of contact dermatitis by lowering the histamine response. Vitamin D is the main regulator of the immune system.
  • Skin conditions are typically worse in the winter when we get less vitamin D. They are also worse when a person is under stress. When you raise cortisol levels from stress, you deplete vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D can decrease acne by shrinking and normalizing the sebaceous glands. This can help regulate the overproduction of oil, decreasing acne breakouts. Seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp is also known as dandruff. Vitamin D cream can help reduce dandruff.
  • Eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, and alopecia are all related to vitamin D deficiency. Microbes involved in certain skin issues can reduce the vitamin D receptors in your skin, allowing them to survive.

Most studies agree that skin pignemtation adapted to latitude – review May 2024

Exploring Skin Pigmentation Adaptation: A Systematic Review on the Vitamin D Adaptation Hypothesis
Cutis. 2024 May;113(5):E15-E21. doi:10.12788/cutis.1019


  • Sufficient UV radiation exposure is required to synthesize vitamin D, but excess exposure increases skin cancer risk.
  • Genes associated with vitamin D production and melanin synthesis form an interconnected network that explains skin tone polymorphisms and their influence on healthy sun behaviors.
  • Adaptations in genetics of skin pigmentation and vitamin D metabolism due to anthropologic patterns of migration to northern latitudes may help explain predisposition to dermatologic diseases such as skin cancer.

Understanding the genetic adaptations that occurred as humans migrated out of Africa to higher latitudes helps explain on a population-wide level how UV radiation (UVR) exposure will have varying consequences and benefits in patients of different skin pigmentations. It has been hypothesized that the need for efficient vitamin D synthesis was the primary driver for the skin-lightening process that evolutionarily occurred as humans migrated to higher latitudes. This review analyzes the level of support for the hypothesis that skin lightening occurred to enable adequate vitamin D synthesis in populations that migrated to areas with less UVR. Our literature search supported the hypothesis that through natural selection and intricate genetic adaptations, humans who migrated to areas with lower levels of UVR underwent a skin-lightening process to avoid the consequences of vitamin D deficiency. Our review includes an analysis of migration patterns out of Africa and how these affected pigmentation genes that are found in certain ethnic populations can be used to better understand this critical adaptation process when counseling patients on the need for sun protection.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

See also Web


Overview Skin and vitamin D        
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ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
21215 Skin Pigmentation Review_CompressPdf.pdf admin 22 May, 2024 170.15 Kb 14
4057 UV-ingredient-chart.png admin 24 Jun, 2014 38.17 Kb 28139
696 EWG Vitamin A.png admin 20 Aug, 2011 72.88 Kb 2584