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Is any sun good for me? Do I need vitamin D?

Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; Copy Editor: Clare Morrison; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2013. About Melanoma is sponsored by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.

As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”; the same can also be said of the sun…: “a little bit of sun a day keeps the rickets away”.

Vitamin D is important to our body in many ways, including preventing rickets (soft, brittle bones) in children. One way we get vitamin D is from the sun. Our body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun and most people can get some of their vitamin D needs this way.

No one knows for sure how much time we need in the sun for our skin to make enough vitamin D but we do know for sure that too much sun can cause skin cancer. The following tips will help you get enough sun to make vitamin D without increasing your risk of skin cancer:


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