Conflicts of interest None declared.
Does chronic sunscreen use reduce vitamin D production to insufficient levels?
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 161, Issue 4, pages 732–736, October 2009
How to Cite
Norval, M. and Wulf, H.C. (2009), Does chronic sunscreen use reduce vitamin D production to insufficient levels?. British Journal of Dermatology, 161: 732–736. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09332.x
- Issue published online: 22 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2009
- Accepted for publication 27 May 2009
- sun protection factor;
- ultraviolet radiation;
- vitamin D
Exposure to ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight provides the mechanism for more than 90% of the vitamin D production in most individuals. Concern has been expressed in recent years that the widespread use of sunscreens, particularly those with high sun protection factors, may lead to a significant decrease in solar-induced previtamin D3 in the skin, resulting in a vitamin D level which is considered insufficient for protection against a wide range of diseases. In this article the published evidence to support and to question this view is presented. It is concluded that, although sunscreens can significantly reduce the production of vitamin D under very strictly controlled conditions, their normal usage does not generally result in vitamin D insufficiency.