Although a lot of us may already slather on the vitamin E when we get sunburned, it looks like vitamin D might also help our skin to recover. In a recent study conducted by Case Western University, it was found that orally-administered vitamin D can actually promote healing … but you need to take a lot of it.
The double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial started by giving 20 test subjects a small UV-lamp-delivered sunburn on their inner arm. Within one hour, they were then given either a placebo pill, or 50,000, 100,000, or 200,000 IU of vitamin D. Their skin was subsequently analyzed 24, 48, 72 hours and one week after the experiment.
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While the placebo and the lower doses had little to no effect, the higher doses significantly reduced inflammation and redness, plus the test subjects experienced a jump in gene activity related to skin barrier repair. The scientists believe this was because vitamin D increases levels of an enzyme known as arginase-1, which both boosts tissue repair and activates anti-inflammatory proteins.
That said, the effective doses in the experiment were far above the 400-IU daily recommended allowance of vitamin D.
"I would not recommend at this moment that people start taking vitamin D after sunburn based on this study alone," says lead scientist Dr. Kurt Lu. "But, the results are promising and worthy of further study."
A paper on the research was recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Source: Case Western University