Safe Sun Exposure
Sun exposure is the typical way to obtain and maintain adequate vitamin D levels. However, as many of us would be aware, excess sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer in Australia. How do we get adequate sun exposure to maintain our vitamin D levels without putting us at increased risk of skin cancer?
Here are some guidelines taken from the Australian Cancer Council.
- In summer: A few minutes of sun exposure each day outside the hours of 10am- 3pm (peak UV time).
- In winter: Two to three hours of sun exposure per week in the southern parts of Australia. If you are in the northern part of Australia, the same recommendations for summer apply to winter.
Be sure to avoid sun exposure or use sun protection in peak UV times, usually between 10am and 2pm (11am-3pm daylight saving time), as this is when UV rays are most dangerous.
Many factors need to be considered when determining adequate sunlight exposure such as season, time of day, skin colour, age and clothing.
If you are at high risk of developing skin cancer, consult your healthcare professional to determine the best way to achieve adequate vitamin D levels, as sun exposure may not be appropriate.