High doses of vitamin D3 taken one hour after getting bad sunburn significantly reduce skin redness, swelling, and inflammation according to a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study done out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
In the study, participants were exposed to UV radiation to induce sunburn. One hour later, participants were either given an oral placebo, 50,000 IU, 100,000 IU, or 200,000 IU of vitamin D3. After 24 hours, who received the higher doses of 100,000 and 200,000 IU had marked continuous reduction in skin redness compared to those who received the placebo or the 50,000 IU.
Researchers also noted that 48 hours after sunburn, those who received the 200,000 IU dose of vitamin D3 had the least structural damage to the skin while placebo recipients had the most skin damage.
This is the first study to show that vitamin D can reduce inflammation in the skin and potentially help to prevent sunburn. The current daily-recommended intake of vitamin D in adults is 400 IU. If you experience severe sunburn, it is not advised to take such a large dose of vitamin D without speaking to a health professional in advance. Such large doses taken consistently can lead to vitamin D toxicity (hypervitaminosis D), although no one in the study experienced any side effects.