Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects a large number of children and adults, especially in northern climates. The causes of dermatitis are complex, but involve both skin dysfunction and immunologic dysfunction. In other words, there are issues inside and outside the body that cause dermatitis. Patients with atopic dermatitis have a unique predisposition to the skin infection.
We now know that Vitamin D may help to cure dermatitis. It works to heal from the inside and the outside. Vitamin D is known to suppress inflammatory responses and promote the integrity of our skin. In one research study, patients were given 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D for 21 days. Lesional skin showed significant improvement. In another study, when children with skin irritation were moved to a sunny subtropical climate, their skin significantly improved and stayed improved for more than three months after they returned.
What should you do to make sure to get your vitamin D? First, make time this winter to be outside. Humans receive at least 80 percent of their vitamin D through skin production. However, Americans spend only 10 percent of available daylight hours outside. Adolescents should especially be encouraged to play outside as much as possible. They receive the lowest UV dose of any group (Searing & Leung, 2010).
Second, take a vitamin D supplement if you are one of the majority of Americans who have insufficient levels of vitamin D. Although there is no consensus on optimal vitamin D levels, the National Institutes of Health recommend 600 IU/day for adults (that is equivalent to more than three cups of milk per day).
Published On: December 02, 2014