Does sunscreen use influence the level of vitamin D in the body?

Olga Debska, Grazyna Kaminska-Winciorek, Radoslaw Spiewak

Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Source: Debska O, Kaminska-Winciorek G, Spiewak R. Czy stosowanie kosmetykow przeciwslonecznych wplywa na poziom witaminy D w organizmie? Pol Merkur Lekarski 2013; 34 (204): 368-370. (In Polish)


Solar radiation is necessary for the normal functioning of the body. It enables the synthesis of vitamin D that supports the physiological status of the skeleton, it also improves the frame of mind. Nevertheless, UV irradiation also induces adverse effects in the skin, including sunburn and skin cancer. The use of sunscreens is highly recommended during periods of intensive insolation. There are, however, concerns about possible interference with synthesis of vitamin D in the skin by sunscreens, which might lead to hypovitaminosis. The present article summarises published studies on the possible inhibition of vitamin D synthesis as a result from using sunscreens.

Key words: UV radiation, sun protection, vitamin D levels, vitamin D synthesis, hypovitaminosis.

Related articles:

  1. Spiewak R. The substantial differences between photoallergic and phototoxic reactions. Ann. Agric. Environ. Med., 2012; 19; 888-889.
  2. Spiewak R. The frequency and causes of photoallergic contact dermatitis among dermatology outpatients. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat 2013; 21 (4): 230-235.
  3. Spiewak R, Gregorius A, Sznelewski P. A new in vitro protocol for assessing phototoxic effects of xenobiotics on human keratinocytes. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2012;2:110-4.

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Dermatologist and allergist in Krakow (Cracow), Poland

Estetologia Medyczna i Kosmetologia

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Document created: 14 February 2014, last updated: 15 February 2014.