Eczema and the risk from Vitamin D deficiency
The Vitamin D Council has come out with something interesting. It says that while the causes of eczema aren’t fully understood as yet, there does seem to be a connection between having low vitamin D levels and the common skin condition known as eczema.
How do you know when you or a family member has eczema?
The good news is that eczema is not contagious, but the bad news is that there are several symptoms that can cause discomfort.
- Inflammation of the skin
- Red or grayish colored patches on the skin
- Rough and dry skin
- Cracked skin
- Scaly skin
- Small bumps on your skin
- Severe itchiness
- Raw, sensitive skin
Who are more likely to develop eczema?
There are certain categories who are more at risk of having eczema.
- Those with a family history of eczema
- Children born to older mothers.
- Living in very cold climate or surroundings.
- Living in cities or industrialized areas.
While the main causes of eczema remain difficult to pinpoint, exposure to certain pollutants such as dust, smoke, unclean air, sand, perfumes and chlorine can cause the problem to flare up.
In addition, illness, infection or stress may also trigger eczema.
More about eczema
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and an inflammatory skin condition, affecting some thirty percent of the population in the USA - mostly children and adolescents. Usually, eczema first appears in the young with some fifty percent being prone to other allergic conditions including asthma, hay fever or food allergies.
Why Vitamin D is important
Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system. And scientists have been researching whether low vitamin D levels actually trigger the development of eczema and if improving those levels will help with the symptoms.
- The vitamin D hypothesis proposes that lower levels of vitamin D have links to eczema with research showing that people who live at higher latitudes with less sunlight or have darker skin are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
- Studies have found that vitamin D protects the skin’s barrier function which in turn helps to prevent infections.
- In addition, vitamin D suppresses skin inflammation by increasing and regulating immune cells.
A review of twenty one publications in 2018 found that lower vitamin D levels were associated with eczema severity, and supplementation improved symptoms in 67% of people.
How to help with the symptoms of eczema
- Apply cool compresses to your skin or take a colloidal oatmeal or baking soda bath to relieve the itch.
- Moisturize your skin daily to form a protective barrier against the elements, applying moisturizer straight after a shower or bath to seal it in.
- While drying after a bath or shower, just gently blot your skin with a soft towel without rubbing.
- Always resist scratching as this can make your discomfort worse and lead to an infection.
- Use natural and fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, makeup and other skin care products.
- Always use gloves and protective clothing if you have to handle chemicals.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes made from soft fibers such as natural cotton.
- Essential oils have been used down the centuries as a successful home remedy for eczema and other skin conditions. Now H-Eczema Formula is specially formulated from pure natural ingredients to provide the perfect healing eczema home remedy that is gentle, safe and successful to use for treating the symptoms of eczema.
- And of course check your vitamin D levels to ensure you are not deficient. Many are. Use the summer months to gain the benefit of that wonderful sunshine but when that is not possible, all is not lost. You can immediately start a course of good quality vitamin D3.
When supplementing with vitamin D3, you will also need to add in magnesium and vitamin K2. Take with a spoonful of fat (such as grass fed butter or coconut oil) as vitamin D is fat soluble. Make sure you have calcium in your diet by including dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables.
It can be difficult to know what dosage to take if you have not been tested but most suggested doses of vitamin D are too low and it is hard to overdose. You can apply for a hydroxyvitamin D test online which can be done at home inexpensively. 40 ng/mL is a good level to aim for initially, rising to 60 or 70 if you can for optimum health. In the meantime, a suggested dose is 5000 IUs per day to raise and maintain those levels.