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January 31, 2018

One of my favorite pieces of advice to my patients:  The sun is not so bad for your skin!  Too much sun at the wrong time is bad, but not enough sun causes low Vitamin D levels.  That’s right!  Did you know that dermatologists actually give ultraviolet light to certain patients for a variety of skin conditions?  Light is also used to treat certain mood disorders including depression and seasonal affective disorder.  Scientists have found that certain parts of the world go for prolonged periods without seeing good sunlight.  They noticed that some of these patients develop true mood disorders that need to be treated medically.  The sun is a natural anti-inflammatory!  The problems with the sun is the amount and intensity that most people forget about.  15-30 minutes of casual sun exposure at the right times of the days (before 9 and after 4) helps build your vitamin D levels, which help regulate mineral absorption, regulate hormones, and in some opinions, reduce overall risk for cancer!

Many people today are deficient in Vitamin D mainly because we are spending most of our day indoors.  Vitamin D supplementation has been a major development over the past decade both by general doctors and even dermatologists. Dermatologists have been using a vitamin D analogous skin care product for a variety of reasons including autoimmune disease and to treat skin damage due to inflammation.  As we are learning more about the skin, we are realizing how vital Vitamin D can be to our health.

So, you may ask:  What are you supposed to in order to be safe and still have good skin?

Keeping a balance is the key here in dermatology as well as in other parts of medicine.  However, most people experience too much sun exposure on the areas that sees the sun the most:  Their face, arms and hands.  The result:  brown spots that come up over time can be cosmetically concerning and skin cancer risks increase with sun burns and long standing sun exposure.

Three things that can improve this?  Sun block, moisturizer and skin brightener!