Published on August 11, 2021
Could applying vitamin D products to the skin help improve psoriasis and other skin conditions while also raising vitamin D levels?
August is Psoriasis Action Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of psoriatic disease and educating others on treatment options for psoriasis. Psoriasis is thought to be an auto-immune disease, characterized by the cyclical appearance of raised, red patches covered by scaly, itchy skin, usually around the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp.
Vitamin D is an Approved Treatment for Psoriasis
Topical vitamin D was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an effective treatment for psoriasis in 1994. Sunshine exposure and artificial UV light (emitting both UVA and UVB light) have also shown to be beneficial for the treatment of psoriasis and several other dermatological conditions.
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with psoriasis, eczema, and several other skin disorders. An observational case-control study found that low vitamin D levels were more common in psoriatic patients than in healthy controls, and that patients with the lowest vitamin D levels had the most severe disease for the longest duration of time. Another study by McCullough et al. reported findings from long-term hospitalized patients who were given 5000 to 50,000 IU per day of vitamin D. Three patients with psoriasis were given doses of 20,000 to 50,000 IU per day, and all showed marked improvements within 3 to 4 months, with no negative effects due to supplementation.
Could Using Vitamin D on the Skin Increase Vitamin D Levels?
A randomized controlled trial by Bubshait et al. looked to see how applying a topical vitamin D3 gel would affect vitamin D levels. The study enrolled 550 participants, ages 18-80, all with initial vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L). The participants were split into two groups – the treatment group of 350 participants was given a topical vitamin D3 gel with 5000 IU per gram, and the control group of 200 participants was given an aloe vera gel. Participants were told to apply 1 gram of the gel daily over a 4 month period, after which vitamin D levels were re-assessed.
The treatment group began the study with an average vitamin D level of 11 ng/ml, and the control group had a starting average vitamin D level of 10 ng/ml. After 4 months of applying the topical gel, the treatment group had an average vitamin D level of 37 ng/ml, while the control group remained about the same.
As can be seen in the chart above, post-treatment vitamin D levels were much greater than pre-treatment levels after using the topical vitamin D supplement for 4 months, which provided 5000 IU per day of vitamin D through the skin. This study shows that topical vitamin D supplements may be a reliable alternative for those with certain skin disorders, or for individuals who struggle with oral supplements or prefer to avoid them.
Could Topical Vitamin D Benefit Other Skin Disorders?
Wat H. and Dytoc M. completed a systematic review of 165 published papers on the use of topical vitamin D treatments for skin disorders other than psoriasis. They found that topical vitamin D (in combination with other therapies or used by itself) also had a positive effect on skin conditions including vitiligo, congenital ichthyosis, lamellar ichthyoses, bullous ichthyosis, morphea, pityriasis alba, prurigo nodularis, polymorphous light eruption, Grover disease, and Hailey-Hailey disease, among others.
Do you use a topical vitamin D product, or are you considering one? How is it affecting you and your vitamin D level?
Let us know what your daily vitamin D routine is while testing your levels. Contribute your data as a citizen scientist – what other discoveries can we make together?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which to measure, such as your vitamin D, omega-3s, and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.
Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D (see below) and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.
Help everyone Move Research into Practice with vitamin D and other nutrients! As a special birthday gift to everyone, in honor of the science, we have created a special scholarship fund for anyone to donate to that will go towards helping others participate. Your donation will allow anyone to get help with funding their participation when they need it.
Text-to-give: Text Daction to 44321 to add to our Scholarship Fund.
What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?
Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.
STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.
STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).
STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.
STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.
STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.
STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…
Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.
These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.
GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index
- Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!
Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.
Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called
For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!