Forty-two percent of Americans are Vitamin D deficient.

Being exposed to the sun for a few minutes every day gives our bodies a much needed dose of Vitamin D and has the added benefit of keeping our circadian rhythm regular.

Unfortunately, sun exposure increases the risk of skin damage.

When getting that dose of Vitamin D is important to our health, where do we draw the line? How much sun exposure is too much? What effect does it have on our skin?

Here are some of the most common types of skin damage from the sun.


Perhaps the most common type of skin damage, sunburn is caused by exposure to UVB rays. Symptoms of sunburn include redness, swelling, and pain, but it may take a few hours after sun exposure for the sunburn to appear. Your skin may be hot to the touch or start to peel after a few days.

The risk of sunburn can be reduced by wearing sunscreen and UPF clothing. However, if sunburnt, a successful sunburn treatment is aloe vera. You can use it to moisturize your skin and ease the pain.

Sun Poisoning

This extreme case of sunburn is caused by significant exposure to UV rays and can cause you to feel nauseous and dizzy. Additionally, it can cause blisters, dehydration, and flu-like symptoms in extreme cases.

Sun poisoning requires a trip to the doctor to prevent or treat complications like severe skin damage and dehydration.

Premature Aging

The sun can cause free radicals in your skin to damage our skin's DNA, leading to rapid skin aging. Additionally, the sun can damage your skin's connective tissues, causing wrinkles, thinned skin, and reduced elasticity.

Sunspots, or hyperpigmentation, are caused by an increase of melanin in one area of the skin. They aren't dangerous but can be treated with over-the-counter creams and dermatologist recommended operations.

Skin Cancers

Too much exposure to both types of UV light can cause skin disorders such as cancer. When UV light enters the skin cells, it can harm the DNA, causing your cells to change and rapidly divide.

Melanoma is one of the most serious types of skin cancer because it can spread to other organs quickly if not treated with early detection. Melanoma often has the appearance of a mole, but can also occur in normal-looking skin.


The best thing you can do to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays is to be proactive. Avoid going outside around midday, because that's when the sun's rays are the strongest. Prevent sunburn by apply sunscreen before being exposed to the sun and reapply every two to three hours, especially if sweating or swimming.

Cover your skin with lightweight clothing and opt for shady spots when going outside. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from cataracts and other problems.

Protecting Yourself Against All Types of Skin Damage

You don't have to keep yourself from getting your dose of Vitamin D! Now that you know the most common types of skin damage, you know the risk factors and can take steps toward preventing them!

Go have your fun in the sun!

Be sure to check our blog regularly to learn more about protecting yourself from the sun!

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell