Sun Exposure: How Much is Too Much? 2023 Guide

How Much Sun is Too Much Sun?

We all need sun. It provides us with essential vitamins and warmth. But you can have too much of it. It mostly results in sunburn and peeling, which we all know is uncomfortable and painful, but worse consequences can happen too if we’re not careful.

But before we dive into answering how much sun is too much sun, let’s first look at the benefits of getting just the right amount.

The Sun Gives us Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin that most people don’t get enough of. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency.

This vitamin is made from cholesterol in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun. That’s why getting enough sunlight is very important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels.

However, too much sunlight comes with its own health risks.

It’s important to note that the sun’s UV rays cannot penetrate through windows. So people who work next to sunny windows are still prone to vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D has many roles in the body and is essential for optimal health. For example, it instructs your gut to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Both of which are essential  — for maintaining strong and healthy bones!

When to Get the Most Vitamin D

You can’t go out any time of the day and expect your body to absorb the same amount of vitamin D. Why? Because the placement of the sun matters.

If you go outside around midday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., you’ll get the most benefits from the sun. Unfortunately, you’ll also likely be at the most risk for sunburn and other problems too, but we’ll talk about that in the next section.

At noon, the sun is at its highest point, and its rays are most intense. That means you need less time in the sun to make sufficient vitamin D.

Not only is getting vitamin D around midday more efficient, but it might also be safer than getting sun later in the day. One study found that afternoon sun exposure may increase the risk of dangerous skin cancers.

Dangers of Too Much Sunlight

While sunlight is great for vitamin D production, too much can be dangerous.

Below are some consequences of too much sunlight:

  • Sunburns

  • Eye damage

  • Aging skin

  • Skin changes such as freckles and moles

  • Heat stroke/sunstroke

  • Skin cancer

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, make sure to avoid getting sunburned.

It’s best to apply sunscreen after 10–30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to avoid the harmful consequences of excess sunlight. Your exposure time should depend on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Too Much Sun

You can take measures to protect yourself from the sun. The obvious thing is to wear sunscreen, but we want to dive in deeper than that.

Did you know that you can take B3 to help protect yourself against skin cancers?

The vitamin B3 supplement called nicotinamide reduced the rate of new squamous-cell and basal-cell skin cancers by 23% compared with a placebo. Nicotinamide also reduced the risk for developing actinic keratosis, a common precancer of the skin.

This preventive treatment has no side effects. Unlike niacin, another form of vitamin B3, nicotinamide does not cause headache or increased blood pressure. You can take nicotinamide orally, or get B3 in an IV treatment!

Anti-Inflammatories can Prevent Skin Cancer

Anti-inflammatories (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, may have a modest effect on skin cancer prevention. A systematic review showed that the risk of squamous cell carcinoma was reduced by 15% with non-aspirin NSAIDs, and by 18% with any NSAID.

Zinc Protects Your Skin from Damage

Zinc oxide is amazing at protecting your skin from damage — that’s why it’s in most high-performing sunscreen! If applied topically, zinc has been shown to protect the skin from the sun, and aid in regeneration and healing.

Lesser known is that zinc also helps help heal wounds, lessens inflammation, and improves inflammatory conditions. Additionally, it helps produce collagen and repair DNA to keep your skin looking young, healthy, and moisturized.

Different types of zinc can help with different skin conditions too!

Zinc pyrithione can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema, relieve dry and itchy scalps, and reduce dandruff.

We also offer zinc in our IV treatments! So if you’re wanting to rehydrate and give your skin a youthful summer glow in the middle of winter, book an appointment with us at IV Revival. Our nurses will come right to your door to administer the IV while you enjoy the comfort of your home. Treatments are quick (most take less than an hour), and easy. Give us a call today!

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