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Vitamin D and Your Skin Health: What You Should Know

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Are you getting enough vitamin D? According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly two-thirds of the U.S. adult population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency. Unfortunately, these individuals have have a greater risk of developing a myriad of health problems.

Why Vitamin D is Important

Vitamin D plays a key role in many bodily functions; it allows our body to absorb calcium, which in turn supports strong bones while protecting against bone diseases like osteoporosis. Furthermore, vitamin D enhances the skin’s immune system to protect against wrinkles, fine lines and premature aging. Without vitamin D, your skin will age more quickly due to the presence of harmful chemicals and compounds known as free radicals.

So, how do you know if you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency? Aside from clinical tests, there are a few other common signs and symptoms associated with a lack of vitamin D, including the following:

  • Excessive Sweating: while some sweating is completely normal and even beneficial in regulating our body’s internal temperature, excessive sweating could be a sign of a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Eczema: statistics show that between 15% and 25% of all dermatological patients suffer from eczema. While eczema is typically caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, it can also be a sign of a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Wrinkles: as previously stated, people who don’t get enough vitamin D are more likely to develop skin wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Hyperpigmentation: finally, insufficient vitamin D may cause hyperpigmentation of the skin. When this occurs, certain areas of the skin becomes lighter or darker than other areas.

How to Get Vitamin D

Thankfully, vitamin D deficiency is an avoidable condition. There are several ways to increase your intake of vitamin D, one of which is to consume more foods containing this essential vitamin. Some of the top vitamin D-rich foods include fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon), eggs, cheese, beef liver, fortified cereal and mushrooms.

Alternatively, you can take a vitamin D supplement. Current health guidelines recommend between 400 and 800 IUs of vitamin D per day.

Perhaps the best source of vitamin D, however, is the sun. The sun doesn’t technically “supply” your body with vitamin D. Rather, it serves as a catalyst by telling your skin to produce its own vitamin D. spending just 10 to 15 minutes in the mid-day sun offers more than enough vitamin D to meet your daily recommended intake.