Getting sunburned can be really an irritant. Your skin can become itchy, swollen and can also hurt. A sunburn is a type of radiation burn that occurs because of too much exposure to the strong ultraviolet rays of the sun which harms the living tissues of the skin. While there is not much that you can do to reverse the damage but there are many ways to alleviate the discomfort.
A new study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, says that consuming high doses of Vitamin D after an hour of getting a sunburn can help in giving respite from signs like skin redness, swelling and inflammation.
The study involved dividing 20 participants into four groups to receive a placebo pill or 50,000, 100,000, or 200,000 IU of vitamin D after one hour a small sunburn created by a UV lamp on their inner arm. The participants were studied after 24, 48 and 72 hours and 1 week after the experiment was performed and a part of their skin tissue was referred for a biopsy for being tested further.
The results revealed that the intake of Vitamin D was not only able to kill the inflammation but it also helped in rousing the genes that overhaul the skin cells. Participants who consumed high doses of Vitamin D also had little skin inflammation after 48 hours of the sunburn. Further, those who reported highest levels of Vitamin D in their blood also had less skin redness and had a quicker recovery.
The biopsy report helped in measuring the gene activity, researchers could find out that Vitamin D helps in boosting the levels of an anti-inflammatory enzyme called arginase-1. The enzyme plays a major role in restoring skin tissues and activating other anti-inflammatory proteins. This is one of the first studies which provides proof of the anti-inflammatory advantages of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a major nutrient that your body requires to regulate the calcium and phosphorus levels of our blood. It is also accepted as the sunshine vitamin as exposure to sunlight modifies the cholesterol of the skin into Vitamin D. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D but you can also obtain it from foods like eggs, cod fish, soy milk and mushrooms. The Indian Council of Medical Research suggests a supplement of 10 micro-grams per day in case if exposure to sun is less.