Question: My wife has had two melanomas removed and avoids the sun at all costs. But doesn’t she need to get at least a little sunlight for her health (i.e. vitamin D)?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Sunlight exposure is a vital component of normal body function. As you mention, it actually allows our body to synthesize vitamin D, which is essential for healthy immune and body function.
Complete shielding from all sunlight is counterproductive. Appropriate use of sunscreens, hat, and clothing should be sufficient. Remember that melanoma and risk is tied in to genetics as well as UV exposure.
Your immune system may be one of the greatest additional modulators in who gets melanoma and who does not. We all have our comfort levels with what we do to prevent disease, and since complete elimination of sunlight exposure would not eliminate all your wife’s risk factors, there is no good reason to eliminate sunlight exposure completely.
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