Science Questions

Does beta carotene help against sunburn?

Sun, 24th May 2009

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Question

Succubus Huntress asked:

What about beta carotene? Can that help to stop sunburn and sun damage to the skin?

Answer

Nina -  Beta carotene probably has some beneficial effect by preventing damage to collagen as opposed to protecting as a sunscreen, per se. Because beta carotene, the precursor of beta carotene (retinoic acid) does influence collagen production in the skin. Taking beta carotene could, in fact, have some beneficial effect  on stimulating collagen formation. Really, you donít want to get out in the sun and get that much ultraviolet radiation so that this reaction has kicked in, in the first place. You should protect yourself from the sun except for  short or moderate lengths of exposure. Donít  bask in the sun.

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