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There is a rampant amount of skin cancer in this country from people who over sun themselves and use tanning beds to extreme measures, this has caused a general panic and “Avoid the sun at all costs” attitude across the nation. The problem is that if you wear sunblock all the time and avoid the sun you will be preventing the absorption of the necessary UVB radiation which also helps the body create and metabolize vitamin D.
Vitamin D is found in very few organic foods and the chemical version is not nearly as potent and effective, vitamin D is crucial to protecting the heart, blood stream and helps prevent organ cancers. The only main source of vitamin D is through natural sunlight or drinking milk, which is hard to do for people who are lactose intolerant. It is also proven the sun helps against fatigue, malaise, depression and other symptoms.
In moderation it is imperative you allow some sunlight to penetrate and be absorbed by the body, the best time to get some sun would be prior to 10am and after 4pm in the afternoon where you run a much lower risk of skin cancer. It is still appropriate to do short five to ten minutes of getting some sunlight mid day without any sunblock just to make sure your body gets a healthy absorption of vitamin D.
The biggest risks for skin cancer are children and sunburns, sunburns in children greatly increase their likelihood to get skin cancer as adults, though adults who burn can still get skin cancer, it is the DNA damage to young and growing skin cells and DNA that pose the greater risk for mutation in the cells.
Children should wear sunblock for the majority of the day, but should also get a small amount of time each day without sunblock to absorb the Vitamin D, again these should be limited to early morning or late evening hours, or very short amounts of time mid day. All other times they should wear sunblock of SPF 50+ or more.
- In Summary:
Remember to be wary of direct sunlight and use sunblock, especially on children during peak UV Index hours. Don’t however prevent the body from absorbing natural sunlight completely and make sure that at least some exposure to sunlight without “sunblock” or with very low SPF (15) is attained in order for the body to absorb essential nutrients and gain the benefits.
And remember, everything in life should be done in moderation. If you go to extreme on anything you will end up potentially causing more harm than you are trying to prevent.