Sunbathing Is Beneficially Addictive

A recent news report casts a negative shadow on sunbathing, saying some sun worshippers may be addicted. [Wall Street Journal July 18, 2016]  The tone of the article was that obsessive sunbathers may set themselves up for future skin cancer.
Calling it “sunbathing disorder,” chronic sun worshippers are advised to consult with a dermatologist.  Really?

The mood-lifting aspects of sunshine should be obvious.  The Winter Blues, also called Seasonal Affective Disorder, is linked to the lack of solar radiation in winter months.  Sun lamps are posed as therapy, though vitamin D pills may be more effective and safe.  [Psychiatry Research May 2015]  A short trial of 50,000 IU/day vitamin D3 supplementation is said to almost invariably improve mood.
We find the same people who are mentally depressed to be the same people who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency.  [Issues Mental Health Nursing 2010]
Sunshine vitamin D also enhances the production of sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone).  [Endocrinology 2011]

Sunscreen lotions are designed to block the fast-tanning UV-B rays that produce vitamin D in the skin, while permitting more deeper-penetrating UV-A sunrays to reach the skin. Only recently has it been recognized that solar UV-A radiation produces mutations and skin cancer in humans. [Photochemistry Photobiology 2005] Sunscreen lotions block production of vitamin D, which prevents cancer, while allowing exposure to UV-A rays that promote cancer.

In 1971, when a campaign to urge Americans to use sunscreen lotions began, mortality due to malignant melanoma was uncommon. Today, with widespread sunscreen use, mortality due to malignant melanoma has risen to 7000 cases per year. Sunscreen use in northern climates actually increases the risk for melanoma. [Annals Epidemiology 2007]
It is the use of sunscreen lotions that block the vitamin D-producing UV-B sun rays and allow the deeper penetrating UV-A rays to attack the skin that has caused a skin cancer epidemic.  The skin cancer epidemic was created by modern medicine itself, as have most other chronic diseases.
Self-serving dermatologists aren’t ready to admit that misdirection.  Sunning is not some irrational obsession, it is health personified.

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