The body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children and fragile misshapen bones in adults. Vitamin D helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the bodies and the vitamin is needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The vitamin promotes a wide range of functions for a healthy body and skin but having an inadequate amount of vitamin D symptoms on the skin may appear.
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An adequate level of vitamin D benefits skin by helping to promote healthy epidermal cell growth, decrease the risk of infection, prevent skin agin and reduce the incidence of chronic disease, including skin cancer.
Vitamin D is found naturally in a small number of foods, including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks.
It’s also found in fortified foods like breakfast cereals and fat spreads.
However, it’s difficult for a person to get the recommend amount of vitamin from food alone and this is when deficiencies flare up.
Ichthyosis is a form of severe dry skin and also a sign of a vitamin D deficiency.
Ichthyosis is an inherited disorder and is sometimes called fish scale disease due to accumulation of thick dry scaly skin.
Ichthyosis is due to mutations in genes involved in the skin barrier function.
Vitamin D is crucial because it activates receptors responsible for inducing formation the skin barrier that is imperative for defencing the skin.
What the experts said?
For the findings of a study published by Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases in 2014, researchers warned against the risk of vitamin D deficiency in the management of patients with ichthyosis, especially in winter and spring, when there is less sun exposure and in the cases of dark skin or severe disease.
The study also reported that abnormal or low vitamin D was observed with other skin diseases characterised by abnormal dry, itchy skin and scaling, including psoriasis.
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The study noted: “Clinicians should be aware of the risk of vitamin D deficiency in the management of patients with inherited ichthyosis.
“Inherited ichthyosis are monogenic disorders of cornification due to mutations in genes involved in skin barrier function.
“Skin changes involve most of the tegument and are characterised by scales of various forms and severities and these are often associated with erythema.”
The skin relies on vitamin D for its anti-inflammatory properties needed to hope eliminate bacteria or pathogens that permeate the epidermis.
In addition to being vital for the bones, vitamin D positively influences the health of the skin by its role in the regulation of hormones, synthesis of connective tissue and support the immune system.
If you suspect you may be deficient, speak with your GP who might recommend supplements or injections.
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