Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Sun Exposure & Vitamin D

Q. My flare-ups seem to be triggered primarily by sun exposure. Will a good sunscreen be enough to prevent flare-ups or must I always wear a hat when outside?

A. Because sun exposure is a leading flare-up trigger for so many, using sunscreen with an SPF (sun-protection factor) of 15 or higher is recommended for most rosacea patients all year-round -- but it is also important to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible.

A broad-brimmed hat can help shield the face when outdoors, and a scarf or muffler may be used in addition during colder weather. Try to stay in shaded areas as much as possible, and avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the summer when the sun is most intense. Instead, schedule your outdoor activities during the early morning or evening hours.

Q. Recently, my doctor instructed me to take a vitamin D supplement. Can you tell me the impact of vitamin D on patients?

A. It is clear that vitamin D is important to your body, and a major source of vitamin D is sunlight. Therefore, in order to balance your body's needs for adequate levels of vitamin D while minimizing a rosacea trigger, namely sun exposure, the best advice would be to consult with your doctor about your individual case.