Sun Exposure: Beyond the Risks

Sun Exposure: Beyond the Risks


  • Catarina Soares Queirós Serviço de Dermatologia do Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Lisboa Norte, Lisbon, Portugal
  • João Pedro Freitas Serviço de Dermatologia do Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Lisboa Norte, Lisbon, Portugal


sun, vitamin D, skin neoplasms, nitric oxide


Excessive solar exposure presents well-recognized risks and side effects, solar radiation being the most important environmental factor concerning skin cancer. In the last few years, several connections between solar exposure and prevention and/or treatment of several diseases have been discussed, with studies suggesting that regular solar exposure may be beneficial for conditions such as colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; arterial hypertension; obesity; type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome; nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis; multiple sclerosis; Alzheimer disease; and several psychiatric disturbances. In most cases, UV radiation’s beneficial effects are mediated through vitamin D; however, studies show that in other instances other mediators are responsible for these associations, specifically nitric oxide. Moderation is therefore essential, as a strict strategy of total sun avoidance may be inadequate.


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How to Cite

Sun Exposure: Beyond the Risks. Dermatol Pract Concept [Internet]. 2019 Oct. 31 [cited 2024 May 19];9(4):249-52. Available from: