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Vitamin D supplementation may improve rare skin condition

Posted on: December 17, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


Researchers recently found supplementation with vitamin D decreases the severity of Verneuil’s disease.

Hidradenitis suppurativa, or Verneuil’s disease, is a non-contagious chronic skin disease in which clusters of painful nodules, abscesses and cysts form mainly in areas containing sweat glands, such as the underarms and inner thighs. It is relatively rare, affecting around 1-4% of the population.

Following a study from earlier this year which found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with Verneuil’s disease, researchers from France recently looked at whether deficiency in vitamin D contributes to disease severity and if supplementation improves aspects of Verneuil’s disease.

Twenty-two patients with Verneuil’s disease were recruited, all of whom had vitamin D levels lower than 30 ng/ml. In their first analysis, researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was related to disease severity.

The research team then conducted a separate analysis among 14 patients who received vitamin D supplementation for 6 months. They wanted to see if supplementation reduced the number of large nodules by at least 20%.

In all 14 patients, there was a significant decrease in number of nodules and 79% of the patients experienced a 20% decrease in the number of nodules.

“Our study shows that Verneuil’s disease is associated with a major vitamin D deficiency, correlated with the disease severity,” the researchers concluded.

“It suggests that vitamin D could significantly improve the inflammatory nodules, probably by stimulating the skin innate immunity.”

The researchers call for larger randomized controlled trials to confirm their preliminary findings.


Guillet, A. et al. Verneuil’s disease, innate immunity and vitamin D: a pilot study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 2014.

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