Vitamin D May Help Treat Sunburn

Summer is here, and with it comes a chance of sunburn. Not only painful, it also increases the risk of cancers like melanoma down the road. There really is no substitute for wearing sunscreen or protective clothing. However, a small but intriguing new study suggests that high doses of vitamin D may also prevent the redness and swelling associated with sunburn.
Researchers found that taking vitamin D decreased inflammation, redness and swelling, compared to taking a placebo, and the effect increased in proportion to how much vitamin D was consumed.
Taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D—a large dose, 125 times the recommended daily allowance—led to a significant reduction in redness and swelling, compared to the placebo. Likewise, those who took 100,000 IU had even less swelling, and those who took 200,000 IU had the largest reduction in inflammation.
This study, the first to show that vitamin D can reduce inflammation in the skin, suggests that it could potentially help prevent sunburn. The question naturally arises: If I get burned, should I take a large dose of vitamin D? The doctors don’t recommend it! Such large doses, if taken repeatedly over time, have the potential for causing vitamin D toxicity, known as hypervitaminosis D.
A small amount of exposure to UV radiation is good, because that’s how the skin naturally makes vitamin D—and this, rather than diet, is the main source for the substance. A study suggests that vitamin D, even the levels of it produced in the skin, may help repair damage caused by sunburns.
When it comes down to it there is no “cure” for a sunburn, and the best course is to avoid getting one in the first place.