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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Dec;37(6):942-7.

Normal vitamin D levels can be maintained despite rigorous photoprotection: six years' experience with xeroderma pigmentosum.

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Dermatology Clinical Research Unit, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.



Although sun protection is advocated for skin cancer prevention, sunlight is also important in generation of vitamin D in the skin. There is concern that sun protection may result in an abnormally low level of vitamin D.


To assess the risk of vitamin D deficiency in a sunlight-deprived population, we studied eight ambulatory patients with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) who practiced intensive sun protection during a chemoprevention study of oral isotretinoin.


We surveyed the patients to determine the extent of sun protection and vitamin D intake and measured the serum levels of two vitamin D metabolites (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-OHD] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25-(OH)2D]), calcium, and parathyroid hormone during 6 years.


The patients all wore protective clothing and sunscreens when outdoors. Estimated mean vitamin D intake was normal. The mean values of serum 25-OHD were low normal, but 1,25-(OH)2D, calcium, ionized calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were normal. Lack of seasonal variation in serum 25-OHD indicated rigorous photoprotection.


Despite rigorous sun protection normal vitamin D levels can be maintained in ambulatory patients with XP.

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