ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Sun Scare and Vitamin D Deficiency

Updated on September 27, 2018
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

The Skin Cancer Diagnosis

You probably know someone who has been diagnosed with skin cancer. In the past several years, I could name several people who have been diagnosed with skin cancer and have had the spots removed promptly as directed by the dermatologist they were seeing. Things seem to have changed since a decade ago. Years ago, I could say that I knew no one who had been diagnosed with skin cancer. So what has changed? I did some research and here are some facts I have found on the matter.


Do you stay in the sun longer when you use a sunscreen?

See results

Vitamin D and Sunscreen

The most popular arguments are that doctors are able to better detect skin cancer, and that the current generation of baby boomers has spent a larger amount of time in the sun. After digging deeper, I've found a couple of less popular arguments (that would probably not be profitable to anyone in particular). One is that many sunscreens have cancer causing chemicals. Are they FDA approved? And if they are, to what extent are they deemed safe? According to Dr. Loren Pickett, "Worldwide, the greatest rise in melanoma has been experienced in countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted. The rise in melanoma has been exceptionally high in Queensland, Australia where the medical establishment has vigorously promoted the use of sunscreens." To learn more about the dangers of sunscreens, visit Oz Investigates: Is Your Sunscreen Poisonous?

Another less popular argument is that Vitamin D deficiency can cause cancer. According to WebMD, Vitamin D deficiency causes increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, and cancer.

According to the EWG Skin Deep site, "As it stands, many experts agree that there’s no solid proof that sunscreens protect against skin cancer". According to them, sunscreens protect us from skin burning UVB rays but not from the UVA rays which penetrate the skin more deeply and cause skin cancer. As a result, people using high SPFs may falsely think they are protected from getting skin cancer when they use a sunscreen and may also stay in the sun longer due to this belief.

Gweneth Paltrow Suffered a Severe Vitamin D Deficiency After Years of Shielding Herself from the Sun

For years, Gweneth Paltrow avoided the sun completely and was very surprised at the outcome. After suffering a severe bone fracture, requiring surgery, she was diagnosed with the beginning stages of osteopenia, directly related to her lack of Vitamin D. Her doctor helped her to reverse her Vitamin D diagnosis through sensible sun exposure.

Dr. Lipman writes: "Numerous studies have shown that optimizing your Vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. And the best way to optimize Vitamin D levels is through safe, smart and limited sunscreen-free exposure to the sun," according to Aces ShowBiz. Visit Save Our to read about Gweneth Paltrow's experience.

Did You Know?

The "sun scare" has led to an enormous profit for SPF product manufacturers, and of course, dermatologists. Their offices are full. A co-worker of mine was recently "diagnosed" with skin cancer and has begun treatment; I was very surprised when she said that the dermatologist made the diagnosis by looking at her with no testing done. She is a single mother and was complaining about the expense since every time she goes to her dermatologist, there is a $40 copay, and the treatment prescribed requires her to have multiple visits.

According to the IDIS World Market Research "The Dermatologists industry .... projects industry revenue to grow at an average annual rate of 5.3% to an estimated $44.1 billion in 2016."

Skin cancer appears to be on the rise and Vitamin D deficiency too. Now with the fear of skin cancer, people are completely avoiding the sun, becoming Vitamin D deficient, and using literally tons of sunscreen. What ramifications will these habits have on our health in the future?

Did you know the following?

  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • Caucasian men over age 65 have had an 8.8 percent annual increase in melanoma incidence since 2003, the highest annual increase of any gender or age group.
  • In adults 65 or older, melanoma treatment costs total about $249 million annually.
  • In 2004, the total direct cost associated with the treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer was $1.5 billion.

~ Facts from the Skin Cancer Foundation

A Decade From Now

What will the latest generation of baby boomers bring to the table a decade from now? The school of thought we hear about the most, is to cover yourself and expose your skin to the sun as little as possible, however, according to WebMD, we should do just the opposite to ensure we get the proper amount of Vitamin D, "Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D -- through diet, supplements and/or through spending more time in the sun."

Personal Note: Perhaps the best solution to prevention is moderation, similarly to coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. While I do use sunscreen, I now only use it when I am at risk of burning and I use the spray, as not as much is required for coverage. 

This hub is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)