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Getting Vitamin D Safely, Avoiding Skin Cancer

"UV light is going to mature the skin. Age it, make it look older, increase your risk for skin cancer. And most of us don't want to look older and don't want skin cancer,” said Forsyth.
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Dreaming of sunny skies, blue water, and not to mention, warmer temps?

You're probably not alone. Especially with the bitter cold we're feeling now.

But the nutrients from the sun you think you're missing during the winter months are easier, and safer to get from your fridge.

Blaming your bad mood on the lack of sun this winter? It’s not because of the lack of Vitamin D.

"There's not a direct correlation between vitamin d and mood. Vitamin D is proven to help absorb Calcium and Phosphorus. Outside of that, if you say, 'I need my Vitamin D because it makes me feel better,' there's no direct correlation there. Sunlight is definitely mood affecting," said Physicians Assistant with Summit Health, Greg Forsyth.

Forsyth said SAD, or Seasonal Affect Disorder is real, and the need for sunlight and the outdoors is real, but be careful because those UVA and UVB rays are also a main factor in skin cancer.

"UV light is going to mature the skin. Age it, make it look older, increase your risk for skin cancer. And most of us don't want to look older and don't want skin cancer,” said Forsyth. “And therefore sun block is so critically important, and that's not going to prevent your overall absorption of Vitamin D."

Forsyth said it's your diet where you can pick up Vitamin D safely. Food categories like dairy, certain cereals and fish are good, natural sources of the vitamin.

"The use of getting outside? Yes, get outside, please wear your sun block. You're going to get a much better absorption of Vitamin D through a healthy diet and a varied diet, and if you want to supplement? Go ahead and supplement. But if you're going to get outside, please wear sun block. It's not worth the risk of skin cancer," he said.

And Forsyth recommends getting screened at least once a year to prevent skin cancer.

Dermatologists never recommend the use of tanning beds to get sun light, or Vitamin D. And officials with Summit Dermatology said especially because tanning beds are not metered, you never know just how much exposure you're actually getting, making it unsafe.
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