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Does vitamin D supplementation improve inflammation from sunburn?

Posted on: June 14, 2017   by  Missy Sturges & John Canell, MD


A recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that high dose vitamin D supplementation reduced inflammation and decreased redness in the skin after sunburn.

Sunburn occurs when one has been exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for a prolonged period of time, causing oxidative damage to molecules in the skin, including DNA. This damage activates the production of proteins and enzymes in order to recruit inflammatory cells and initiate an immune response to repair the skin.

Sunburn is extremely common, with about 70% of adolescents and 50% of adults experiencing at least one sunburn a year in the US. Symptoms of sunburn include redness, pain and swelling of the skin, which typically subsides within 3-7 days after exposure. The skin continues to thicken for approximately 2 weeks after sunburn. 

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