Vitamin D and the Skin: An Update for Dermatologists

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018 Apr;19(2):223-235. doi: 10.1007/s40257-017-0323-8.


Vitamin D plays a key role in skeletal and cardiovascular disorders, cancers, central nervous system diseases, reproductive diseases, infections, and autoimmune and dermatological disorders. The two main sources of vitamin D are sun exposure and oral intake, including vitamin D supplementation and dietary intake. Multiple factors are linked to vitamin D status, such as Fitzpatrick skin type, sex, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol intake, and vitamin D receptor polymorphisms. Patients with photosensitive disorders tend to avoid sun exposure, and this practice, along with photoprotection, can put this category of patients at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Maintaining a vitamin D serum concentration within normal levels is warranted in atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, polymorphous light eruption, mycosis fungoides, alopecia areata, systemic lupus erythematosus, and melanoma patients. The potential determinants of vitamin D status, as well as the benefits and risks of vitamin D (with a special focus on the skin), will be discussed in this article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Diseases / blood
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / immunology
  • Skin Pigmentation / immunology
  • Skin Pigmentation / radiation effects
  • Sunlight / adverse effects
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / immunology
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Vitamins / immunology
  • Vitamins / metabolism
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D