Therapeutic Hotline: Recommendations on photoprotection and vitamin D


  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Henry W. Lim, MD, Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Medical Center – New Center One, 3031 West Grand Boulevard, Suite 800, Detroit, MI 48202, or email:


Interest in the health benefits of vitamin D continues to increase and is at the forefront of much research and debate. Insufficient vitamin D levels have been linked in epidemiologic studies to decreased physical performance, cardiac health, autoimmune disease, neurologic disorders, colorectal and breast cancers, and total mortality. Consequently, health authorities are reviewing the most recent available data and updated recommendations on optimal vitamin D levels are pending. Daily intake of 1000 international units (IU) of vitamin D for adults and 400 IU of vitamin D for children may be appropriate for patients protecting their skin from UV radiation and can be safely obtained from diet and/or dietary supplementation. Patients should be counseled on sun protection regimens to prevent unprotected sun exposure and discouraged from using artificial tanning devices. As available information on vitamin D and its associated health benefits evolves, and as new evidence emerges, updated recommendations are sure to follow.