By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Many people are getting the message loud and clear that sunscreen helps protect you against skin cancer.

But, could all that sunscreen be creating another problem?

“That is the major cause for the vitamin D epidemic worldwide,” says hormone specialist Dr. Michale Holick. “Sunscreen absorbs UV [ultraviolet] light, and UV light makes vitamin D in your skin. And if you put a sunscreen on with an SPF of 30 and it absorbs about 97-98 percent of the UV light, it will reduce the ability to make vitamin D in your skin by 97-98 percent.”

That can lead to a host of problems, including bowed legs, thin bones, diabetes, and memory loss.

So, how can we get the cancer-blocking effects of sunscreen without depriving our bodies of vitamin D?

Dr. Holick is introducing Solar D – a product he helped design.

He says this specially formulated sunscreen blocks harmful ultraviolet rays, but allows the vitamin D-permitting rays to get through to your skin.

“Basically, you can have your cake and eat it too to take advantage of the sun protection factor as well as making some vitamin D in your skin,” he says.

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Solar D has been approved by the FDA and should be available on store shelves in the United States this spring.

It has an SPF of 30 and costs about the same as traditional sunscreens.

Dr. Maria Simbra