supplementing vitamin D improves eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that is far too common among kids. 5%-20% of all kids in the world are irritated by this disease. Remarkably, something as simple as vitamin D could help.

Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is characterized by dry, itchy skin. Though it largely affects children, 30% of those children will continue to suffer from it as adults.

Several studies have begun to point to vitamin D as a potential solution. A study of children at high risk of developing allergies found that those who were deficient in vitamin D had a higher risk of developing eczema (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Feb 2017;139(2):472-481.e9).

Eczema can become even worse in the winter. When kids with winter-related eczema were given either a placebo or 1,000IU of vitamin D a day for four weeks in a double-blind study, the placebo kids improved by 3.3 points on the Eczema Area and Severity Index. But the vitamin D kids improved by 6.5 points. Unlike the drugs commonly used for eczema, the vitamin D was safe with no adverse effects (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2014;134(4):831-835.e1).

So, could vitamin D really be an important part of the eczema solution?

To find out, researchers looked at all the evidence and conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 high quality studies of vitamin D and eczema in children.

The result was the discovery that vitamin D levels are significantly lower in people with eczema than in people without it and that people with eczema are significantly more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. The results also showed that people with severe eczema had significantly lower levels of vitamin D than people with mild eczema.

These results establish a link between vitamin D levels and risk and severity of eczema. So, what happens if you give people with eczema supplemental vitamin D?

SCORAD is the most common and effective method of assessing the extent and severity of eczema. It is used by dermatologists to determine whether a treatment is working. Treatment with vitamin D significantly reduced SCORAD scores. In self-control studies, the SCORAD scores went down by a significant 18.8 points; in randomized controlled studies, it went down by 11.02 points.

Another widely used scale for measuring eczema is the EASI score, which measures the intensity of inflammation and lesions. On this scale, too, vitamin D led to significant improvement compared to placebo.

This systematic review is the best study to date on children with eczema and concluded that “vitamin D supplementation is beneficial to AD [atopic dermatitis] patients.”

Comput Math Methods Med.2022;2022:9407888

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