Professor Giampiero Girolomoni, head of the clinical dermatology department at the University of Verona, explains how we can determine how much vitamin D our skin produces:
Vitamin D is measured via a blood test, and when the quantity is less than 20 nanograms per millilitre, an oral supplement is recommended. A level of 45 nanograms upwards is considered normal. Diet alone does not provide a sufficient intake, because vitamin D is contained in the fatty part of foods, which we usually discard.
A little or a lot of sunshine? What’s best for our skin? What do you recommend?
Sunlight is always positive, as long as we protect our skin with suncreams with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, or with coloured clothing.
But it would appear that the most popular suncreams on the market contain allergens or chemicals which can alter our hormonal system. Is this true?
No. Allergies are extremely rare, and sun protection products do not alter the hormonal system. They are safe, you could eat them.
Are you seeing more skin cancers or diseases linked to a lack of sun exposure compared to the past?
Skin cancers are caused by sun exposure during childhood, and develop 20 years later. They are on the increase in those aged 30-40, because they take a long time to develop, and we were used to sunbathing without the precautions we take today. Young people should protect themselves from the sun, as opposed to the elderly who need sun exposure but who tend to avoid it.