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High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency found among patients with a rare skin disorder

Posted on: August 6, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


A recent study published out of France found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in ichthyosis and revealed that aspects of the disorder may contribute to deficiency.

Ichthyosis is a genetic skin disorder in which dead skin accumulates and forms dry scales. The severity of the disorder ranges from a mild form that is often mistaken for dry skin to a more severe, life threatening form. The mildest form is the most common form and accounts for more than 95% of all cases of ichthyosis.

Patients with skin disorders are often at risk for vitamin D deficiency because they often display sun avoidance behavior. Researchers are interested in studying the link between vitamin D and skin disorders because patients with skin disorders still need to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.

Researchers enrolled 53 patients with ichthyosis from a hospital reference center and determined their age, sex, form, and severity of ichthyosis. They also measured their vitamin D levels.

After analysis, the researchers found that 88% of the patients had vitamin D levels less than 30 ng/ml. They also found that more severe ichthyosis and greater amounts of scales increased the risk for vitamin D deficiency.

“More than 80% did not have an optimum status of vitamin D, with nearly one-third having vitamin D deficiency. High grades of ichthyosis severity, dark skin, and winter/spring seasons were identified as independent risk factors for vitamin D deficiency,” the researchers concluded.

“Based on our results, we recommend systematic screening of 25-(OH) D in ichthyosis patients and adequate supplementation if the status is not optimal.”


Frascari F. et al. Prevalence and risk factors of vitamin D deficiency in inherited ichthyosis: A French prospective observational study performed in a reference center. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 2014.

1 Response to High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency found among patients with a rare skin disorder

  1. Rita and Misty

    I used to have a very mild form of Ichthyosis. I don’t now.

    Is its disappearance due to my optimal 25(OH)D level? I do not know for certain. All I know is that 3 years ago it cleared itself up. And it hasn’t returned.

    I think it is very important to note that I was never truly vitamin D deficient by main stream medical definition. My level was 32 ng/ml when I started to increase my supplementation.

    Health benefits for me started once my level was raised to around 75 ng/ml. But the benefits for me have been tremendous. And sometimes I don’t even realize how much my health has improved. For example, I did not think about Ichthyosis and D until reading this blog. So many “minor” health conditions that I lived with have cleared up since I’ve raised my vitamin D blood level. Are they all gone because of D? I don’t know for certain. However, every once in a while an article like this will surface, and I am again so very grateful for discovering this website.

    Clearly I understand further research on vitamin D is called for. I hope that in some small way I can contribute to a better understanding of optimal 25(OH)D level.

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