Did you know that if you "shun the sun" you may be at risk for a serious vitamin D deficiency? Vitamin D is known as "The Sunshine Vitamin", and it is produced naturally in the body in response to sunlight. Therefore, Goths: you either do need to get sunlight, or you may need to take a supplement.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can include: bone pain, muscle weakness, and even depression (the lack of vitamin D causes the parathyroid gland to produce more hormone, and low levels of vitamin D along with higher levels of parathyroid hormone have been linked to depression severity).
Honi Harlow, a New York City neo-burlesque artist and nightlife regular who avoids the sun as much as possible to protect her fair skin, recently went to see her physician for symptoms including a general sense of the down-and-outs, which is highly unusual for her. She found out that her vitamin D levels were alarmingly low, and had to have an injection administered.
"I'm already feeling 100 times better," Honi tells us, "I've got to make sure to regulate it in the future."
The trick is exposing some of your skin to direct sunlight for about 20 minutes a few days a week. Remember that the UV rays that stimulate production of vitamin D can also cause skin cancer, so most experts don't recommend getting your vitamin D exclusively from sun exposure. You can also get the same nutrients from milk, egg yolks, orange juice, and fish.
This summer, while you're slathering on your SPF 110 sunscreen, strolling under your favorite black lace umbrella, and refusing those invitations to the beach, remember this article. If you're interested in a fun way to catch some sun, you might want to look into booking a trip with the Goth Cruise, too.