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.