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Vitamin D is essential to human health for its role as a catalyst for calcium absorption, yet many people are deficient, especially those that live at higher latitudes, far away from the earth's equator. In these areas, the tilt of the earth in the winter months forces the sun's rays to travel a longer path through the earth's atmosphere, filtering the UVB light necessary for reactions within the skin to create Vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against the development of many chronic diseases, including: cancer (breast, colorectal, prostate), cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and depression.
UVB risks such as skin cancer and premature aging of the skin are directly related to local cumulative UVB exposure at a skin site over a person’s lifetime. UVB can be obtained from both artificial light sources and natural sunlight. Artificial light sources can include this UVB phototherapy device and, to a lesser extent, cosmetic tanning machines (mainly UVA and very small amount of UVB - and even more dangerous for cancers and skin wrinkling). The UVB content of natural sunlight depends on many factors including the time of year (with June 21st being peak UVB for the northern hemisphere), time of day (with early afternoon being the daily maximum), geographic latitude (greater UVB towards the earth’s equator), altitude (greater UVB at higher elevations), and other environmental factors such as cloud cover. Natural sunlight typically results in greater cumulative UVB exposure on the face/head, lower arms, chest and shoulders/upper back.
Skin burning is caused by excessive UVB, and occurs when the minimum erythema dose (1 MED) has been exceeded. Skin cancer has been linked to skin burning (erythema), especially when the burns occur at a young age.
The only effective method to determine your Vitamin-D level is by Vitamin-D blood testing.
Considering the above, a reasonable strategy for safe and effective Vitamin-D phototherapy is to: