Summertime means that more people are spending time outside under the sun. And by now, most people are accustomed to wearing “sunblock” when they head outdoors.
The main reason people use sunscreen is to protect against skin cancer. There are 3 main types: squamous cell, basal cell, and melanoma.
Here’s the conundrum: you need UV exposure to produce vitamin D in the skin, which then in turn supports the immune system in clearing out cancer cells. Nature’s wisdom has provided built-in sunscreen: MELANIN!
Humans that lived closer to the equator expressed higher amounts of melanin in their skin to protect against the sun. This allowed them to remain out in direct sunlight for longer periods. As humans moved away from equatorial regions, their skins decreased melanin expression. The main reason being that less melanin meant that they would be able to produce more vitamin D with less sun exposure.
The key to it all is based on skin type, latitude, altitude, skin hydration levels, and length of exposure. I’m not an advocate for ALWAYS wearing sunblock.
I can go on and on about this, so in an upcoming post, I’ll talk more about Vit D, sunscreens, and more things about the sun. Light is a nutrient that most people are deficient in.
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Be Well & Aloha
Dr. Mike 🤙🏽
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