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

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Experts recommend applying sunscreen regularly to all exposed parts of the body, to protect our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Moreover, it is even suggested to apply sunscreen indoors to protect our skin from the harmful blue light emitted by cellphones, TVs, laptops, etc.

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

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

Explaining the same, she added: “SPF 15 filters 93 percent, SPF 30 filters 97 percent, and SPF 50 filters 98 percent of UVB rays.” This highlights that even after applying sunscreen, your skin still receives 2-7% of solar UVB rays.

Additionally, “most of us don’t apply sufficient amounts of sunscreens to all of the exposed parts of our body. This still leaves a window for some UVB penetration, ”she said.

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

Additionally, she pointed out that while vitamin D can be supplemented with diet and commercial preparations, there is no substitute for sunscreen.

“It’s better to supplement your vitamin D than to expose yourself to a known carcinogen, ultraviolet rays,” she suggested.

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