Date of Graduation

Summer 8-8-2015

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Annjanette Sommers, MS, PA-C

Abstract

Background: Atopic dermatitis is a very common dermatological condition affecting adults and up to 20% of children. Atopic dermatitis is thought to be regulated by the innate immune system which is controversially affected by vitamin supplements, specifically vitamin D. Does vitamin D supplementation improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis?

Methods: An exhaustive medical literature search was completed utilizing the following databases: Medline-OVID, Web of Science, and CINAHL. The terms “vitamin D” and “atopic dermatitis” were used and linked to further specify the search terms. The GRADE system for assessing research quality was used to determine strength of studies’ findings.

Results: Two studies were selected using the systematic review inclusion criteria for the review. One random control trial (RCT), of moderate GRADE quality, found a statistically significant improvement in atopic dermatitis symptomology with patients suffering from mild, moderate, and severe eczema on a vitamin D supplementation. The second RCT examined (also moderate in GRADE) did not show a significant improvement in symptoms with vitamin D supplementation, however, some improvements were noted and the authors suggest more research on the topic.

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation may cause a slight improvement in symptoms of atopic dermatitis but more research is needed to prove a direct link and to provide dosing guidelines in order for this recommendation to be adopted by medical providers.

Keywords: vitamin D, atopic dermatitis, supplementation, eczema, innate immunity

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