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Can using sunscreen lead to vitamin D deficiency? Here’s what a dermatologist says

"No matter how much sunscreen we use or high the SPF is, some of the sun's UV rays will still reach your skin," the dermatologist said

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
December 1, 2021 7:30:11 pm
sunscreenSome UV rays reach our skin even after using a sunscreen. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Experts recommend to regularly apply sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body, to protect our skin from harmful ultra-violet radiations. Further, it is even suggested to apply sunscreen indoors to shield our skin from the harmful blue light emitted from cellphone, television, laptop, etc.

However, there are some concerns related to vitamin D deficiency in the body due to chronic usage of sunscreen as sunlight is considered as the best source of vitamin D for the body. If you are worried about the same, look no further as dermatologist Dr Gurveen Waraich, recently, addressed this question on Instagram.

“No matter how much sunscreen you use or high the SPF is, some of the sun’s UV rays will still reach your skin,” the dermatologist said.

Explaining the same, she added, “SPF 15 filters out 93 per cent, SPF 30 filters out 97 per cent and SPF 50 filters out 98 per cent of UVB.” This highlights that even after applying sunscreen, your skin is still receiving 2-7 per cent of solar UVB.

Additionally, “Most of us are not applying sufficient amounts of sunscreens on all exposed parts of our body. That again leaves a window for some UVB penetration,” she pointed out.

Dr Waraich emphasised the importance of weighing the pros and cons of using sunscreen. “Even 5-10 minutes of repeated, unprotected sun exposure is sufficient to cause DNA damage, leading to skin cancer and premature skin ageing,” she said.

Further, she highlighted that while vitamin D can be supplemented through diet and commercial preparations but there’s no substitute for sunscreen.

“It’s best to supplement your vitamin D rather than exposing yourself to a known carcinogen, ultra-violet rays,” she suggested.

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