Summer is here! School is on summer break and many people are planning their vacation. Summer is a fun time; the days are longer and everyone is spending more time outside.


We naturally want to spend more time outside in the summer because the sunshine makes us more cheerful. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. Vitamin D is a mood booster and helps prevent depression. Our bodies understand this and we crave the outside time.

When we do not have ample vitamin D exposure, we are at risk of depression. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with other risks: loss of bone density, rickets (bone softening in children), and osteomalacia. There are also possible connections between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.


Our skin color is a reflection of the amount of melanin in our skin. People with darker skin have more melanin than those with lighter skin. The melanin protects your skin against damage from excess sunlight, but it also slows the process of creating vitamin D. The darker your skin, the more exposure you need to sunlight to create the necessary vitamin D.

Studies have shown that fair skin individuals need a minimal amount of sunlight exposure. Exposing about ⅓ of your body by wearing a tank top and shorts 3 times a week for 10-30 minutes is probably sufficient to meet your body’s vitamin D requirements. Darker skinned people might need 30 mins to three hours more exposure of sunlight to reach ample vitamin D levels.


Try to wear sunscreen when you are getting sun exposure, especially during the heat of the day. This means between 10am-2pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest, wear sunscreen. The FDA recommends SPF 15 or higher. You should apply sunscreen to all unclothed areas of your skin and reapply every 2 hours.

To protect our face, try to wear a hat. This will reduce the harmful damage to your skin and help prevent sunburns, age spots, and cancer. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes. Excess exposure to the sun’s rays can damage your eyes and lead to cataracts.  

Get out there and enjoy the summer. The weather helps you be more active and boosts your metabolism; but be sure to protect your skin while you are outside. Our team at Healthstar Physicians Premier Medical is here for your family. If you have any skin concerns, please reach out to us. We’re Newport’s compassionate and experienced healthcare provider. We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.

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