Vitamin D deficiency may be involved in acne
Low levels of vitamin D in the serum may play a potential role in the development and severity of acne, a new study suggests.
Researchers recruited 80 adult patients with acne and 80 age- and sex-matched participants without acne. Patients with inflammatory diseases, as well as those who were receiving treatment for acne, systemic corticosteroids, and vitamin D supplements were excluded. Blood samples were collected and the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D) were measured. These were identified as adequate (>20 ng/mL), inadequate (12-20 ng/mL), or deficient (<12 ng/mL) in concordance with the guidelines of Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Acne patients with 25(OH)D deficiency were then given either cholecalciferol (vitamin D supplement) or placebo for 2 months. A total of 39 patients were included in this leg of the study. Clinical assessments were done at the beginning of, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks during the treatment. Severity was evaluated based on inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions, as well as according to the global acne grading system (GAGS).
A total of 48.8 percent of patients with acne had 25(OH)D deficiency at the same time. On the other hand, this was found in only 22.5 percent of the healthy participants. The level of 25(OH)D in the serum was inversely related to the severity of acne and number of inflammatory lesions.
Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin D resulted in fewer inflammatory lesions compared with placebo.
The findings highlight that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in individuals with acne, indicating the potential role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of acne. Further studies could improve on this by having a larger sample size and measuring actual tissue concentrations of vitamin D.