Can eczema cause impairment in the synthesis of Vitamin D?

Published Online: April 7, 2014

Deficiency of vitamin D (VitD), an essential compound, is commonly linked to rickets, and has been reported to be associated with allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma. However, the clear relationship between VitD and allergic diseases has not been established.

In a Letter to the Editor recently published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Noh and colleagues have examined the serum VitD status of patients with AD or asthma and in healthy controls (HCs), by measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D level. This study included 82 AD patients, 38 asthma patients, and 49 HCs. The authors studied the association between VitD and clinical variables, such as age, sex, disease severity, serum IgE and eczema area of AD.

The researchers found that VitD was significantly decreased in patients with AD, compared to patients with asthma or HCs. This difference was not shown between patients with asthma and HCs. There is significant association between VitD and eczema area, especially head and neck area, while there is no significant association between disease severity and VitD. The authors suggest that AD patients have lower serum VitD levels because VitD production in the skin is impaired due to the cutaneous inflammation as the role of skin in the production of VitD is crucial. Head and neck are the skin areas most frequently exposed to sun, which can be considered to have important roles in VitD production.

The authors suggest a hypothesis from results of this study: that the VitD deficiency in skin diseases might be related to its impaired production in the skin.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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