February 20, 2009 -- Question: Does sunblock prevent you from getting vitamin D?
Answer: Sunblock does prevent you from being able to convert vitamin D to the active metabolite that you need. But the good news is that you can get vitamin D from a lot of other sources. You can get it from foods; you can get it from a multivitamin.
The sun is a known carcinogen. We know it causes cancer and vitamin D absorption is very variable. So there's no way to know how much you're converting when you get sun. So your best option is to utilize sunscreen for sun protection and make sure that you're getting your vitamin D from your diet and from a good multivitamin every day. That's the safest and best way to get vitamin D and also to prevent skin cancer.
Do you have more questions about skin care, skin protection and your aging body? Visit the ABCNews.com OnCall+ Wellness Center to get your answers.