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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2019 December;154(6):669-80

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06433-2


language: English

Vitamin D and the skin: what should a dermatologist know?

Christina BERGQVIST 1, Khaled EZZEDINE 1, 2

1 Department of Dermatology, AP-HP, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Créteil, France; 2 EA 7379 EpidermE, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Créteil, France

Although first discovered in 1931, vitamin D has seen an increased interest in the scientific community over the past decades, including the dermatology field. Vitamin D promotes calcium and phosphorus absorption; however, the actions of vitamin D are not confined to bone. Indeed, there is now overwhelming and compelling scientific data that vitamin D plays a crucial role in a plethora of cellular function and in extra-skeletal health. Except for fatty fish livers, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D; and the major source of vitamin D comes from skin exposure to sunlight via ultraviolet B. Keratinocytes are unique in the body as not only do they provide the primary source of vitamin D for the body, but they also possess both the enzymatic machinery to metabolize the vitamin D produced to active metabolites. This has been referred to as the photoendocrine vitamin D system. Vitamin D regulates keratinocytes proliferation and differentiation; and plays a role in the defense against opportunistic infections. Multiple factors are linked to vitamin D status; and a growing number of dermatologic diseases has been linked to vitamin D status such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, and cutaneous cancers. In this article, we reviewed the potential determinants of vitamin D status, as its implications in dermatologic diseases.

KEY WORDS: Vitamin D; Skin diseases; Vitiligo; Dermatitis, atopic

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