How Does Vitamin D Help in Managing Eczema in Children?

little boy enjoying his school holidays in the field enjoying sunshine

Did you know, a mom-to-be with low vitamin D levels may give birth to a baby with low vitamin D? Recently there have been many studies being conducted on  Vitamin D deficiency and its association with eczema, as this vitamin plays a vital role in immunity function and inflammation properties.  

In Singapore during weekdays, kids have to report at the school campus as early as 7:15 a.m while the average sunrise in Singapore is around 6.50am and sun set around 6.50 pm. They finish school at 1.30 pm to rush back home and stay indoors, and proceed with their enrichment classes and they are all indoors.  Due to this, their exposure to sunlight on a daily basis is minimized.  

As per The Strait Times, despite the country known as a ‘sunny island’ with abundant sunshine all year round. Over 30% of the population here do not have enough of this vitamin. The reason for this is sun protection behaviors such as the excessive use of sunblock, wearing long sleeves, staying in the shade or indoors, and using umbrellas that are common practices in Singapore.

These practices are effective in blocking UVA and UVB rays that are harmful when in great amounts as they cause skin cancer.

Renowned as a “sunshine vitamin”, it is produced within our body when the sun hits our skin. Vitamin D is known to have a regulatory influence on both the immune system and skin barrier function as both are critical in the manner of development of eczema. The consequences of its deficiency on bone health are well-established.

As per NCBI, vitamin D is critical for:

  • maintaining our bone health and muscle function.
  • boosting our immune system, as its deficiency may comprise our immune response and increase the risk of infections and diseases.
  • reducing inflammation.
  • boosting cell growth and muscle function. 
  • absorption of calcium and phosphate from gut. 

How do I know if my child has Vitamin D deficiency?

  • Fatigue
  • Dry eyes, dry skin
  • Frequent illness
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
  • Mood changes, such as depression

How to get tested for Vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is tested by a simple blood test for Vitamin D,  which has to be recommended by a GP doctor. 

Getting a blood test is simple, when you are a member at Kids GainHealth, you can book a tele-consultation service with our online doctors and discuss your child's eczema concerns with your online doctor.  All these can be done from the comfort of your home. 

Vitamin D3 supplements help with Atopic Dermatitis in Children? 

The study published in Journal Pharmacology Research & Perspectives evaluated the impact of Vitamin D supplements supplements in response to the standard treatment in paediatrics with severe atopic dermatitis. Researchers have found that Vitamin D supplements eased the symptoms of severe atopic dermatitis or eczema in children. Observational studies have indicated lower levels of this vitamin level correlating with an increased incidence of eczema symptoms in children.

How can we get Vitamin D? 

1. Foods

Few foods that naturally contain vitamin D are salmon, tuna, mackerel, almonds, the flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils. Other foods with small amounts of it are cheese, fortified milk, other dairy products, fortified cereals, beef liver, and egg yolks.

For vegetarians, fortified soy milk, mushrooms or sun dried mushrooms are alternate options.

Though you can consume these foods, it could be difficult to meet the recommended daily intakes of this vitamin. However, the level of Vitamin D required varies as each child are different. Please consult your doctor for more information.

2. Sunlight

Sunlight remains the best source for vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it synthesizes this sunshine vitamin. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays interact with a protein called 7-DHC, a form of cholesterol in our skin. Cholesterol in our skin cells is thus vital to the production of this vitamin. 7-DHC is then converted into vitamin D3, an active form of vitamin D.

To receive an adequate amount of this vitamin, it is recommended to get sun exposure on your arms and legs for 5 - 30 minutes twice a week. The best time to be under the sun would be between 10am to 3pm.

 There are a number of factors that contribute to the amount of time one should be under the sun, and one such factor is the skin colour - a darker skin toned person should stay under the sun longer for the body to produce the same amount of this Vitamin than the fair skin person.

Be mindful and avoid getting sun burns, apply SPF 15 or other sun protection product on the skin, before the skin turns red or starts to feel uncomfortable that could cause sun damage. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun rays without proper sun protection, this may also cause skin cancer.

If you are staying indoors and sitting by the glass window for sun exposure, it does not help, as glass can filter out the UVB rays. To ensure the UVB rays can reach the skin surface. Parents can plan for a weekend outdoor activity with their children to enjoy the benefit of this free Vitamin. 

3. Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D has been promoted as very important for bone health, they are an effective treatment to improve the outcomes in children with atopic dermatitis. The diet and lifestyle of your children can affect their vitamin levels, especially when they are vegan and avoid foods rich in Vitamin D. This is where the dietary supplements help to make up for the deficiency in children with eczema. This Vitamin D has shown some effect on reducing the symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis in children. Check out our collection of vitamin D supplements to order your Vitamin D supplements.

Disclaimer: Dietary supplements are not a food substitute. Consult your doctor if you want more information on the type of food supplements you can give to your child. At Kids GainHealth, we strive to ensure the accuracy of the product images and information. However, some manufacturing changes to packages and/or ingredients may be pending an update on our website. Though items may occasionally ship with alternate packaging, the freshness of the products always remains intact. We highly recommend you to read all the labels, warnings, and directions for use of all the products and not solely rely on the information provided by Kids GainHealth. 

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