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Your Changeable Minimal Erythemal Dose.

January 24, 2016

Your Minimal Erythemal Dose is a measure of how quickly your skin shows signs of distress when irradiated – your sunburn response.

Most people don’t know theirs and instead just have a vague idea of how long it takes them to burn ranging from ‘as soon as I run out of the office to get a coffee’ to ‘a little while, I tend to just go brown’ and everything in-between.   The fact that we aren’t generally hung-up on our numbers is actually quite a good thing as the more I am reading, the more I’m realising how changeable this number actually is.   For example, did you know that there have been studies done that seem to point to an increase in ones sun tolerance after drinking red wine?  Or that sweating or bathing in salt water reduces ones Minimal Erythemal Dose?  The issue with salt water and sweating seems to be skin dehydration so it would seem logical that extra-dry skin including eczema and psoriasis prone skin would have a lower MED than healthy skin.

beautiful sunny day

Another thing that has been proven to increase ones MED is a good diet!  There have been several dietary studies carried out (mainly on animals) that show an increased UV tolerance after consuming a diet rich in antioxidants – so it looks like another win for plant based nutrition and another thumbs down for fast-food and lolly pops! 

While all of this is probably  more important for those running SPF testing and making sunscreens than the average person (as they rely on an individuals MED readings to gauge SPF)  I thought it was interesting enough to share.

So, if you are looking for non-sunscreen ways to increase your sun tolerance my advice is to eat more veggies, drink a little red wine (but only if you like alcohol, I am sure you could get the antioxidants via other sources), keep yourself moisturised both inside (by drinking plenty of water in the day) and out, stay cool (sweating decreases your MED) and generally look after yourself.

Now how hard can that be?

Amanda x

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