Doctor's Search

Pearls with Paige: Since you get vitamin D from the sun, do you have to take vitamin D my mouth? 

June 19, 2018

Yes, vitamin D is made by sunshine; however, in the northern latitudes, the sun is only strong enough to stimulate vitamin D production in your skin 3 to 4 months a year, typically from May through August. Your skin will make enough vitamin D to support good blood levels if you are outside for at least 10-20 minutes a day, without sunscreen, typically between 10:00am and 2:00pm in shorts and a tank top. Do most people get this amount of sun exposure? No. While I am not advocating NO sunscreen, I do think it would be OK to spend 10-20 minutes without it if you are trying to get your vitamin D. Then, go and slather up with a broad-spectrum SPF. If your vitamin D levels were low before the summer, or if you aren’t outside much without sunscreen during the middle of the day, you should continue your supplement. 

Susan Blum, M.D. 

Posted in Blog