Acne, or ‘acne vulgaris’ as it is known in dermatology circles, is one of the most common chronic skin diseases. It develops from the blockage and inflammation of the hair follicles and the oil glands associated with them. Since oil glands are most concentrated in the face, back and chest, it is these areas that are most often affected by acne. Lesions can be inflammatory, non-inflammatory, or as is often the case, a combination of both.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has long been associated with skin health. Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous skin diseases, however acne’s association with vitamin D is still not totally clear. Its anti-inflammatory properties, partnered with its overall role in our immune system, make it a natural choice for studies that look for non-pharmaceutical solutions to common skin afflictions like acne.
A Korean study followed 80 acne patients and 80 control patients for two months. Acne patients with low levels of vitamin D were given oral supplements of 1000 IU/day of vitamin D daily. Results showed that vitamin D levels were inversely related with acne severity. 1 The higher the levels of vitamin D, the less severe the acne lesions. A subsequent study showed significant improvement in inflammatory acne lesions after Vitamin D supplementation.1.
Conclusion: Further studies need to be done to best assess how the varying types and degrees of acne can benefit from vitamin D supplementation, however, they do suggest that this nutrient definitely has a place – and a natural one – in acne treatment and prevention. Vitamin D may just turn out to be one of the most effective and most affordable, natural solutions, under the sun.
1 Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial
Seul-Ki Lim, Jeong-Min Ha, Young-Ho Lee, Young Lee, Young-Joon Seo, Chang-Deok Kim, Jeung-Hoon Lee, Myung Im
PLoS One. 2016; 11(8): e0161162. Published online 2016 Aug 25. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161162