As our society continues to change with the push for indoor employment and time spent inside, we must consider the effects of the lack of vitamin D. 90% of vitamin D is naturally derived from UVB, the ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Vitamin D derived from the sun circulates in the body for twice as long as vitamin D derived from food or supplements. It is commonly known that vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium which is a main component of bone structure and bone health, but have we considered the effects on other areas of our body such as our skin? Observation studies have linked the severity of topical eczema to lower serum vitamin D levels. The studies have shown significant improvements in atopic eczema with vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D plays a huge role on both the immune system and the skin barrier function. Does your eczema get worse during the winter months? Taking vitamin D supplements may help to combat eczema flare-ups during this cold time.
Eczema is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease that can cause major discomfort. It is also the most common skin disorder in children. The pathology of the development of eczema may be confusing because of immune response, genetic, and environmental factors that contribute to this skin condition. Vitamin D can influence the regulation of the immune system in many ways. Vitamin D can directly suppress skin inflammation by increasing IL-10 production. It has the potential to modify allergic responses by its multidimensional effects on the altered epidermal barrier function, immune dysregulation, and inadequate bacterial defense. UV radiation has been a treatment suggestion for severe eczema symptoms for years, but there is a big concern about increased skin cancer risk. This increase in skin cancer risk has led to the push for alternative treatment options which led to the investigation of oral vitamin D supplementation. The research continues to be done to provide concrete evidence to prove the correlation of vitamin D supplementation and reduced symptoms of severe eczema, but the incorporation of vitamin D has shown promising results for both children and adults.