Eczema is an umbrella term for skin conditions exhibiting swelling, redness, itching, flaking and oozing blisters. Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and other allergic skin reactions may also be referred to as eczema.
Studies have found that atopic eczema may occur due to the presence of skin-infiltrating CD4 T cells of the Th1-like and/or Th2-like subtype. Researchers evaluated expression of the Th2-like cytokine, interleukin-4 and the Th2-like cytokine, interleukin-4 in eczema skin lesions.
Compared to unaffected skin, interleukin-4 mRNA expression and interferon-γ expression were elevated in eczematous lesions. Following atopic dermatitis treatment measures, expression of interferon-γ mRNA expression appeared down regulated while the interleukin-4 mRNA was not. Consequently, interferon-y expression (in-situ) seems to indicate a strong correlation to atopic dermatitis.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin manufactured by the body when skin cells utilize the sun’s energy to transform precursor cholesterols into a rudimentary form of vitamin D. This form of vitamin D is then converted into vitamin D3 by the kidneys and liver to be utilized by the body.
Because vitamin D is biologically incapable of reacting to other organic chemicals, it must be subject to hydroxylation to support body functions. The liver and kidneys are responsible for converting vitamin D to calcidiol and calcitriol, two usable substances that the body accesses to promote bone and teeth growth as well as immune system functioning, neuromuscular activity and inhibition of inflammation.
Is Vitamin D Helpful with Eczema?
A 2014 study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with childhood atopic dermatitis and high total IgE by inversely correlating serum 25(OH)D levels with short and long term atopic dermatitis severity. In addition, patients with vitamin D deficiencies exhibited increased logarithm-transformed total IgE than patients having insufficient and sufficient serum 25(OH)D levels.
Can Vitamin D Help Kids with Eczema?
According to research studies, children taking daily supplements of vitamin D may obtain relief from the inflammation and pain of eczema that tends to worsen in the winter. Moreover, severe eczema is often treated successfully by exposing affected skin to ultraviolet light, which is known to promote production of the vitamin in skin cells.
Researchers behind this study wanted to explore the possibility that insufficient amounts of the sunshine vitamin due to the lack of sunny days in winter could explain exacerbation of atopic dermatitis at this time of the year.