Clinically prescribed sunscreen (sun protection factor 15) does not decrease serum vitamin D concentration sufficiently either to induce changes in parathyroid function or in metabolic markers

Br J Dermatol. 1998 Sep;139(3):422-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.1998.02405.x.


Some studies have suggested that the use of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer may put the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. We followed 24 sunscreen users and 19 controls over 2 years, including two summers, two winters and a basal period (winter). Vitamin D, parathormone and bone biological markers were evaluated each season. Mean levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D rose in summer, with the increments being significantly higher for the second year in the control group. Levels decreased in winter in both groups, and were significantly lower in sunscreen users. We did not observe any significant change in parathormone, tartrate resistant phosphatase, total alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, urine hydroxyproline or urine calcium. Clinically prescribed sunscreen creams (sun protection factor 15) caused a minor decrease in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, which did not induce secondary hyperparathyroidism or an increment in bone biological markers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Calcitriol / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteocalcin / blood
  • Parathyroid Glands / drug effects*
  • Parathyroid Glands / physiology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Osteocalcin
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcitriol