Vitamin D and Eczema: Exploring the Link

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Vitamin D is crucial from the point of view of atopic eczema. Among the various health properties of vitamin D, it is also worth emphasizing that it may contribute to reducing the severity of atopic dermatitis.

This essential vitamin plays a crucial role in immune system regulation and can help modulate immune responses, reduce inflammation, strengthen the skin barrier, and lessen the severity of eczema symptoms.

What role does vitamin D play in eczema management?

Low levels of vitamin D can impair immune function and increase inflammation, exacerbating symptoms of eczema.

Low levels of vitamin D are common among eczema patients. Therefore, maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is essential for individuals with eczema and can help improve their skin condition.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is most often manifested in the form of dry skin.

We can observe peeling of the skin, redness and unpleasant itching. Our skin can also be tight (especially on the face).

Does vitamin D help eczema?

We know today that vitamin D is a powerful hormone, especially to the immune system. 

The importance of vitamin D is demonstrated by the fact that its receptors are located not only in the bones, skin, intestines and kidneys, but also in the eyes, brain, heart, muscles, adrenal glands and almost all cells of the immune system.

The Role of Vitamin D in Skin Barrier Function

Vitamin D has a crucial role in skin functions and has vital importance in the maintenance of epidermal barrier function. Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of genes that play a role in maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier.

It helps strengthen the skin’s tight junctions, which are protein structures that form a seal between skin cells. This reinforcement of the skin barrier can prevent irritants and allergens from penetrating the skin, reducing the risk of inflammation and flare-ups in individuals with eczema.

The Antimicrobial Properties of Vitamin D

Vitamin D also exhibits antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for skin health. It enhances the production of cathelicidins, antimicrobial peptides that have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity.

These peptides help protect the skin against bacterial and viral infections, promoting a healthy and balanced skin microbiome. By maintaining a diverse and robust microbiome, the skin is better equipped to defend against pathogens, reducing the risk of skin infections and inflammation.

Vitamin D affects gut health in eczema patients

Vitamin D has also been found to have an impact on the microbiome, the collection of microorganisms living in and on the body, reducing susceptibility to infections and decreasing the prevalence of allergies.

Studies on Vitamin D and Eczema: Results

Several studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on eczema symptoms. These studies have shown promising results, indicating that vitamin D can play a beneficial role in managing and improving the symptoms of eczema.

Vitamin D has several effects on the skin. Recent studies have shown a link between the severity of atopic dermatitis and vitamin D levels in children.

The vitamin D level was significantly lower in moderate and severe atopic eczema compared with mild eczema, and this difference was significant.

Vitamin D has not been officially included in the routine treatment of atopic dermatitis, but there is increasing evidence of the positive effects of supplementation. 

A 2022 meta-analysis showed an improvement in SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis) after vitamin D supplementation, suggesting its beneficial effect on atopic eczema patients.

What is the Link Between Vitamin D and Eczema in Babies?

Vitamin D and chronic hives

A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center shows that vitamin D as an add-on therapy could provide some relief for chronic hives. Half of the patient’s took 600 IUs of vitamin D3 and the other half took 4000 IUs. The researchers found that after just one week, both the group of patients experienced a 33 percent decrease in symptoms. 

But at the end of three months, the group taking 4000 IUs of vitamin D3 had a further 40 percent decrease in severity of their hives. What’s more, they observed beneficial effects on sleep quality and itching with high vitamin D3 levels.

Eczema and sleep disorders

If you have eczema, you are probably struggling with sleep problems.

Scientists have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are characterized by poorer sleep quality, more sleepiness, as well as shorter sleep time.

What is vitamin D produced from?

About 80 to 90% of our vitamin D is manufactured in the skin after exposure to direct sunlight. The remaining 10%, maximum 20% of vitamin D is supplied with the diet.

For the production of vitamin D to be effective, strictly defined conditions must be met. And it’s not that easy to deal with them. 

  1. Firstly, if you live far north or south of the equator, this only applies to the spring-summer period. Because in autumn and winter, the sun is insufficient, whatever we do (even on a fully sunny day at high noon).
  2. Second, clouds, rain, smog all block out much of the UV before it hits the earth.
  3. Thirdly, the most effective production of vitamin D takes place when we are outside between 10:00-15:00. These are standard working hours, so some people will unfortunately not benefit from it.
  4. Fourthly, it is recommended to stay in the sun for at least 15 minutes with an exposed body surface of 18%. Wearing long pants and long sleeves reduces the production of vitamin D.

Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is necessary for many people with eczema.

Sources of Vitamin D

Obtaining vitamin D from dietary sources is another crucial factor. While sunlight exposure is the primary source of vitamin D production, certain foods can contribute to vitamin D intake.

Unfortunately, food products are very poor in Vitamin D. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring, contain the most vitamin D. Trace amounts of this ingredient can also be found in cheese, mushrooms and egg yolks.

Is vitamin D supplementation recommended for eczema patients?

If we assumed that we would not go outside at all, there is no way to fully cover the demand for vitamin D from food.

Sources of Vitamin D

Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world – it can affect 50% of the world population.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 40% of adults in the United States have low levels of vitamin D. Even more concerning is that 61% of children under the age of 21 are also affected by low vitamin D levels. These statistics indicate a substantial prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in the population.

Who is most at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

People who live in countries above 33° latitude and spend most of their time indoors are most at risk. 

Women, especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, are prone to deficiency due to increased demands during these periods.

Vitamin D deficiency may be related to populations who have higher skin melanin content and who use extensive skin coverage, particularly in Middle Eastern countries.

Additionally, Black Americans are more likely to have lower vitamin D levels compared to individuals of other racial backgrounds.

Factors such as increased body mass index and limited sun exposure due to geographical location can also contribute to low vitamin D levels.

Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency

The Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency by Age

Age GroupPercentage of Individuals with Low Vitamin D Levels
Children (0-12 years)58%
Adolescents (13-19 years)72%
Adults (20-64 years)41%
Elderly (65 years and above)69%
What percentage of people have a vitamin D deficiency?

“Low vitamin D levels are a significant concern, with a prevalence of 40% in adults and 61% in children. It is important to address this issue by understanding the risk factors and taking proactive measures to maintain optimal vitamin D levels.”

Factors influencing Vitamin D level in Eczema Patients


The latitude of your location can impact your vitamin D levels. Individuals living in areas with limited sunlight, especially during the winter months, can be at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is because the angle of the sun’s rays at higher latitudes reduces the intensity of UVB radiation, which is necessary for vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Your skin may not be able to produce any vitamin D from sun exposure during the winter months.

Your weight

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is 35% higher in obese people, irrespective of latitude and age. Vitamin D is stored in fat, so in people with obesity, less of the vitamin circulates in the blood.


Our body’s ability to produce vitamin D under the influence of sunlight decreases drastically with age. So if you’re over age 65, this production may be reduced by as much as 70%. This decline in vitamin D synthesis, coupled with potential age-related dietary changes, can contribute to lower vitamin D levels.

Skin Color

Here’s little something: skin color also affects vitamin D synthesis. People with darker skin are characterized by a natural sun barrier in the form of melanin, which absorbs UV radiation. As a result, such people need about 3-5 times longer sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as fair-skinned people.

The Benefits of Vitamin D Supplementation

How much vitamin D do I need to cure eczema?

It is crucial to ensure the optimal dosage of vitamin D supplementation. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D, depending on the institution, is currently 400-800 IU/day, but for many adults this may not be enough.

Renowned dermatologist Dr. Peter Lio typically recommends a daily intake of 4,000 IU for adults, with specific dosages for infants, toddlers, and older children. These recommended doses can be individualized based on dietary and sun exposure habits, the latitude of the country, body mass.

Above all, If you are struggling with eczema, I sincerely encourage you to check your vitamin D level. Depending on this, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.

Vitamin D is should be taken daily, with meals or a source of fat, because it’s fat-soluble vitamin.

What’s the right vitamin D blood level for eczema patients?

Normal vitamin D levels are a serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 30 to 100 ng/mL. There is insufficient data on the maximum safe level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in serum, but levels above 100 ng/ml are considered high.

Other Health Benefits of Supplementation

Vitamin D supplementation offers a range of benefits for overall health beyond eczema management. Numerous studies have linked adequate vitamin D levels to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, bacterial infections, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases. The benefits of vitamin D extend beyond skin health, impacting various systems in the body.

How does seasonal variation impact vitamin D synthesis?

When it comes to maintaining optimal vitamin D levels, seasonal variation and sun exposure play a significant role. Sunlight is a key source of vitamin D synthesis in the body, but during certain times of the year and in regions with limited sunlight, individuals may face challenges in obtaining adequate levels of this essential vitamin.


In conclusion, vitamin D is an important factor in managing eczema and promoting skin health. Vitamin D supplementation offers potential benefits for individuals with eczema, contributing to immune system regulation, inflammation reduction, maintenance of a healthy skin barrier, and improvement in eczema symptoms. Adequate vitamin D levels play a crucial role in supporting overall health and skin well-being.

While vitamin D supplementation is beneficial, it should be part of a balanced approach to vitamin D intake. This includes getting enough sun exposure, consuming vitamin D-rich foods, and considering supplementation when necessary. It is crucial to seek medical advice for an individualized approach, as healthcare providers can assess vitamin D status, recommend appropriate dosages, and monitor overall health to ensure safe and effective supplementation.

Vitamin D and Eczema: Scientific Resources:

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