Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sunscreen & Vitamin D

We are off to Spain next week, so I have started to think about what to take for the boys; lotions, potions and clothes. When LBR was small, I lathered him in factor 50 Sunscreen, put him in a sun suite, hat and was terrified a hint of sun might touch his precious skin. 

Factor 50 sun suite

I know the dangers of the sun, I know it can cause skin cancer, premature ageing and just damage your skin. So was I doing the right thing?  I have just read an article from the guardian which explains the danger of lack of vitamin D.                      

"Low vitamin D levels are responsible for rickets, a disease causing bowed legs in children. And now there is growing evidence that a shortage of vitamin D may make us more susceptible to other health problems, from heart disease and cancer to multiple sclerosis.

All of us in the UK are struggling to make enough, and some criticize dermatologists for their campaigns to make us cover our skin, seek the shade and coat ourselves in sunblock. Public health guidance does now suggest we should all have our daily 10 minutes, cream-less, in the sun, but the fear generated by skin cancer warnings lingers on.
But if vitamin D has become a hot topic, it is because of a growing belief that a great deal more is now at stake than the health of our bones – important as that is, especially in small children and the elderly. The blood pressure study was one signal. Other work has suggested vitamin D could be a powerful weapon in helping the body fight infections such as tuberculosis. It is recognised to play a role in the immune system. Some studies have suggested it could help prevent some cancers, but there is no clear evidence as yet. "There is a huge amount of work going on in this whole area of vitamin D and health," says Goldberg.
Perhaps the most dramatic hypothesis is that low vitamin D levels may be a factor in multiple sclerosis, the devastating degenerative neurological condition. One of the most powerful arguments is geography – there are significantly more cases at northern latitudes, such as Scotland.
Professor George Ebers of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University is one of a group of international scientists who believe Scotland's food should be fortified with vitamin D to try to cut the MS rate. His work on human genetics, showing connections between the inability to make vitamin D and MS, supports the observational evidence. "
So I sit here wondering what the right thing to do is? I don't think i'll apply sunscreen between 8.00am and 10.00 am. I will then apply a factor 30. Take them out of the sun between 11.30 and 2.30 then apply one more coat of factor 30 for the rest of the day.  But am I doing the right thing?


  1. I'm very aware of Vit D levels too because my LO is allergic to dairy, which is one of the few good sources of Vit D (you can't absorb calcium without it). I tend to expose her to the sun, creamless, outside of the hours of 11-3 which when the sun is supposed to be the most damaging. Good luck and enjoy your holiday :)

  2. Have a great holiday. Your strategy sounds like a good one - they should be okay without suncream bewteen 8am - 10 am.

    1. I hope so. I'm going to play it by ear, but not be as anal as i used to be. . .