Too much sunscreen can cause vitamin D deficiency
Monday, January 14, 2013 at 02:32AM
Jafeth Rodriguez

There are a number of acute cases of vitamin D deficiency due to excessive indoor time, not enough exposure to the sun or using sunscreen every time being exposed to the sun.  As most things in life, we are looking for balance.  Exposure to the sun and UV light, allows the body to produce vitamin D.  As we know too much exposure to UV light is very bad for the long-term health of the skin.  Too little exposure though, can lead into other issues, including rickets.  Rickets is a painful condition, which can cause bone malformation and bone softening due to vitamin D deficiency.

Hence how much is enough and how do we know?  It is all very confusing.  Like with other things, it is all about balance.  Carrots are great for you, but if you have enormous quantities of it, then it can kill you.  Water is crucial for our existence.  Try drinking 50 litres of water every day and your body will shut down.

I believe it is good advice to avoid direct exposure to the sun as much as possible.  “As much as possible”, however, implies that some exposure will take place as we engage with our normal lives.  Having said that, we need to look at our personal circumstances and adapt the advice to make it work for us.  Not too much or not too little may be a bit vague for most people.  Bone experts recommend to have 15 to 30 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun 3 to 5 days a week.  The answer is somewhere in the middle...


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Article originally appeared on Instituto Español (
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