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Vitamin D and sun exposure: Eczema update

Posted on: September 22, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD

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Atopic dermatitis, sometimes called eczema, is an inflammatory, recurring, non-contagious and very itchy skin disorder. It accounts for 20% of all dermatology visits. Patients with atopic dermatitis react to irritants, food, and allergens and their skin becomes red, flaky, itchy and easily infected. Atopic dermatitis has become increasingly common with sun avoidance and now affects almost 20% of children and 3% of adults in industrialized countries; its prevalence in the United States has tripled in the past thirty years. It is highly seasonal and usually improves after a summer holiday at the beach.

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2 Responses to Vitamin D and sun exposure: Eczema update

  1. Dan

    Is wheat part of the puzzle too? Vitamin D supplementation helped most of my outbursts but not until I stopped drinking beer did the outburst problem go away. If I drink two beers, the next day or two the trouble spots will burst.

  2. Rebecca Oshiro

    My husband has had severe eczema his entire life, with periodic flare ups requiring clobetasol and prednisone. Occasionally antibiotics are necessary to control infections in the abraded skin he incurs from itching while sleeping. When he first had his vitamin D level tested it was 17 ng/mL. In the last two years that he has taken 4,000 units of vitamin D per day, he has not had one round of prednisone or antibiotics, and the itching and dryness are now controlled with a (non-medicated) rich, emollient lotion from the drug store. A mini miracle. This summer while we were moving, his vitamin D regimen fell by the wayside amidst the chaos. About a month later, he started to have severe itching around the neck and elbow region that was cracking and bleeding. Only then did we remember he hadn’t had vitamin D in almost two months! He will always tend toward dry, itchy skin, but vitamin D has granted him freedom from a medicine chest of prescriptions.

    Dan, drinking beer causes my husband’s skin to flare up and itch, but so does wine so I doubt (at least for him) it’s the gluten.

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