Vitamin D has been well known in the past for its importance in maintaining bone health and bone density. In recent years, research has shown that vitamin D also has important roles in other areas of human health.
For example, low vitamin D levels have been associated with higher levels of multiple sclerosis. There is even a greater risk of people developing COVID-19 if they are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D can be obtained in a person's diet, through supplements, or synthesized in the skin after ultraviolet B exposure. This vitamin is fat soluble, which means that it can be stored up in the body for later use when needed.
Most of us living in the Northeast have limited sun exposure for a large portion of the year. Because of this fact, a vitamin D-rich diet and supplements are generally needed for us to achieve therapeutic levels.
Several recent studies have also shown vitamin D to be very important in skin health. Since vitamin D is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, it has been shown to be helpful in wound healing in particular.
A 2020 review of vitamin D research in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology showed that low levels of D were associated with increased risk of scar development and increased severity of scars. This was especially true in recovery from burns and various surgeries. It was also shown that the tendency to development thickened scars known as keloids were much more common when D levels were low.
More studies need to be done to further this research, but it certainly looks like maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is good for your skin and your health in general. It is a good idea to ask your primary care physician's office for a vitamin D level at your next exam to see where you are.
If your level is lower than 20 nanograms/ml, a higher dosage of vitamin D suplementation will generally be recommended to increase your level quickly, "to fill up your tank". If your level is normal or low normal, taking an over-the-counter vitamin D of 1000-2000 units per day is considered safe, and will maintain your levels despite the ups and downs of sun exposure.
As always, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care want you and your skin to stay, look, and be healthy. If you have any questions about this topic or any other aesthetic skin issues, feel free to call us either at (207) 303-0125 in Scarborough, or at (207) 873-2158 in Augusta to schedule a free consultation and/or appointment for treatment.