This guideline covers how to communicate the risks and benefits of natural sunlight exposure (specifically, the ultraviolet rays UVA and UVB) to help people understand why they may need to modify their behaviour to reduce their risk of skin cancer and vitamin D deficiency.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

The guideline also includes supporting information for practitioners

Who is it for?

Commissioners, managers and practitioners with public health or social care as part of their remit working within the NHS, local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline replaces recommendations 1–5 in skin cancer prevention NICE guideline PH32 (2011). The guideline should be read together with NICE’s guideline on vitamin D: increasing supplement use among at-risk groups and any recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) on vitamin D.

Next review: To be scheduled

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)