Vitamin D and Sun Protection
Some people are confused about whether they should get more sun to make sure they get enough vitamin D. The reality is too many Australians get too much sun in summer and increase their risk of developing skin cancer, whilst some people don’t get enough, particularly in winter, and risk vitamin D deficiency with possible serious health consequences.
To read more on vitamin D and the recommended sun exposure time required to maintain adequate vitamin D levels download Cancer Council Australia's Position Statement- Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure
Cancer Council ACT recommend Canberrans expose their face, arms and hands (or equivalent) to the sun for 2 to 3 hours over each week in June and July (say 30 or so minutes a day, around midday) when UV levels are low (under 3). Sun protection during this period is generally not recommended unless spending extended time outdoors ie outdoor workers.
From the beginning of August through to the end of May most people should maintain adequate vitamin D levels through the sun exposure they receive during day-to-day outdoor activities.
During summer the majority of people can maintain adequate vitamin D levels from just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight on their face, arms and hands (or equivalent) area of skin on either side of the peak UV period (11am and 3pm) on most days of the week.
If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels then you should seek medical advice from your GP. To download an Information Sheet on UVR Protection and Vitamin D click here.
Centre for Research Excellence in Sun and Health (CRESH)
In October 2010 the National Health and Medical Research Council awarded $2.4 million funding over five years to establish the Centre for Research Excellence in Sun and Health (CRESH).
CRESH is tasked with building an evidence base regarding the adverse and beneficial effects of sun exposure. Such information is necessary to ensure that any future guidelines issued to the Australian community are based on the best scientific data.
Cancer Council is a CRESH Partner. To remain up to date with the most current research and evidence base around the adverse and beneficial effects of UV exposure click here to view E-Newsletters and more.
For more information visit:
Australasian College of Dermatologists
Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society