Categories: Community3.4 min read

by Stephen Luther, M.D.


Here Comes the Sun

Hilton Head’s sunshine warms our souls as its rays of light can evaporate low-lying fog and downcast moods. Since the fourth day of creation, the sun has glistened with health benefits, including positive hormone production, vitamin D synthesis, improved sleep, mental alertness, reduced inflammation, and lower blood pressure that promotes wellness for a more radiant life.

Symbios encourages the right balance of sun exposure to reflect a healthy lifestyle by managing outdoor time based on the sun’s intensity and enjoying it in moderation. We offer safe, medical-grade sunscreen to prevent uncomfortable burns during extended sun exposure. Click to read more.

Symbios believes natural sunlight is essential to wellness, as moderate sun exposure can:

  • Stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and promotes positive thinking.
  • Trigger vitamin D synthesis, which is essential for calcium and phosphate absorption to build strong bones, teeth, and muscles, preventing certain cancers (linked to vitamin D deficiency) and symptoms of depression.
  • Foster quality sleep and better health by aiding regulation of circadian rhythms as bright light triggers the body to stop producing melatonin.
  • Increase energy as the sun signals our brain to be alert.
  • Lower blood pressure as sunlight coaxes nitrogen oxides from the skin, dilating the arteries.
  • Reduce inflammation by boosting the immune system, which nurtures skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It may also ease arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Reducing the Fear

Many have limited the sun’s benefits from fear of skin cancer. However, there is little credible evidence that proves that the sun is the cause of skin cancer; remember, correlation is not the same as causation, as indicated in this peer-reviewed article.

“Mostly, studies of total sun exposure have not found statistically significant positive associations; those that did had not adjusted for potential confounding by age and gender and thus their interpretation is limited,” the author wrote. “Studies of occupational sun exposure had relative risks not greater than 2.0; recreational exposure has been little studied. Other measurements, less direct but potentially less prone to measurement error, are sunburn (not evidently associated with skin cancer risk) and indicators of benign cutaneous sun-damage (strongly associated but lacking empirical evidence that sun exposure is their main cause).”

Still, Monitor Your Sun Exposure

Symbios encourages sun exposure in moderation, for too much of a good thing (such as fiber or exercise) can make you uncomfortable. Try the following precautions to help you enjoy healthy outdoor time:

  • Seek early morning or evening sunshine when the sun’s position reduces its intensity. You can enjoy an hour of morning sunshine for the same absorption amount as 15 minutes of midday.
  • For extended time outdoors, cover exposed skin with clothing or a medical-grade sunscreen (The sun may penetrate some clothing as its protection tends to decrease after washings).

Protecting Your Skin

The experts at Symbios Medical Spa can guide you in selecting optimal skin protection by identifying your skin type (oily, normal, or dry) and tone (light to dark skin). We recommend avoiding harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, parabens, and phthalate and using the following medical-grade sunscreens:

  • ZO Skin Health: This sunscreen uses advanced technology to shield the skin from UVA and UVB radiation. What sets it apart is its incorporation of encapsulated melanin, mimicking the body’s natural defense mechanism against UV exposure. Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, naturally absorbs and dissipates UV energy to reduce or prevent burning.
  • skinbetter science: This sunscreen takes a multifaceted approach to sun protection, combining physical and chemical filters with potent antioxidants. Beyond blocking UV rays, it contains ingredients such as iron oxides, which provide broad-spectrum protection and shield against HEV (high-energy visible). This unique feature addresses modern lifestyle concerns, as HEV light has been implicated in skin aging and pigmentation. Moreover, Skinbetter science sunscreen incorporates antioxidants such as ubiquinone and vitamin E, combating free radicals generated by environmental pollutants, thus preventing premature aging and maintaining skin health.

Symbios is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions to experience a brighter life. Talk to Dr. Luther and his expert team about your sun-related questions and wellness concerns today.


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