Vitamin D and skin diseases


Vitamin D can have a prophylactic and healing effect on various organs and diseases. A low level of vitamin D has an extensive effect on the immune system and the health of the skin. However, a series of studies reveal that the majority of the population suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. A study by the Robert Koch Institute reveals that a vitamin D deficiency is extant in over 50% of the population; among children and adolescents the figure is even higher at 62.2% for boys or 63.9% for girls. This could contribute to the manifold skin problems affecting this age group.


According to the latest insights, a vitamin D deficiency plays a significant role in skin diseases, such as neurodermatitis (atopic eczema), psoriasis or vitiligo. These can also be treated in dermatological practice with UVB radiation, which the skin needs for vitamin D synthesis.


Several studies show promising results in relation to vitamin D supplementation and neurodermatitis. For example, a study involving 95 neurodermatitis patients revealed that patients with a lower level of vitamin D exhibited an increased frequency of bacterial skin infections. The results of a further study, which examined the effect of high doses of vitamin D on the clinical course of psoriasis und vitiligo, revealed positive results in the treatment of diseases with vitamin D in all 9 psoriasis patients and in 14 out of 16 vitiligo patients. These patients showed a re-pigmentation of 25-75%. It was also discovered that the vitamin D supplementation improved the calcium level in all patients - despite a diet low in calcium. As vitamin D assists the action and absorption of calcium in the intestine, it is indispensable for healthy skin. Therapy with high doses of vitamin D is consequently safe and effective for psoriasis and vitiligo patients.


To describe it precisely, vitamin D is not an actual vitamin but a hormone instead. This possibly explains why it also has a positive effect on acne, which is frequently due to a hormone imbalance. It was also demonstrated that vitamin D3 is required for wound healing, as it is needed for the production of antimicrobial peptides that defend against infectious microorganisms. It not only protects the skin from infections, allows wounds to heal faster and promotes cell regeneration but is also extremely important for the immune system overall. Thus vitamin D3 preserves the injured acne skin against infections and assists in healing.


In a study conducted as early as 1938, the beneficial effect of vitamin D on acne could be demonstrated. Out of 70 patients, a skin improvement could be demonstrated in 20 patients after three months, while 32 of them were even healed. Many acne patients report that their skin appearance improves in summer, in other words during the season of increased vitamin D formation.

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