A role for vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor in keloid disorder

Wound Repair Regen. 2023 Sep-Oct;31(5):563-575. doi: 10.1111/wrr.13109. Epub 2023 Jul 27.


Keloids are disfiguring fibroproliferative lesions that can occur in susceptible individuals following any skin injury. They are extremely challenging to treat, with relatively low response rates to current therapies and high rates of recurrence after treatment. Although several distinct genetic loci have been associated with keloid formation in different populations, there has been no single causative gene yet identified and the molecular mechanisms guiding keloid development are incompletely understood. Further, although it is well known that keloids are more commonly observed in populations with dark skin pigmentation, the basis for increased keloid risk in skin of colour is not yet known. Because individuals with dark skin pigmentation are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, the role of vitamin D in keloid pathology has gained interest in the keloid research community. A limited number of studies have found lower serum vitamin D levels in patients with keloids, and reduced expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in keloid lesions compared with uninjured skin. Vitamin D has documented anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and pro-differentiation activities, suggesting it may have a therapeutic role in suppression of keloid fibrosis. Here we review the evidence supporting a role for vitamin D and VDR in keloid pathology.

Keywords: keloid; keratinocytes; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D receptor; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Keloid* / pathology
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Vitamin D
  • Wound Healing


  • Vitamin D
  • Receptors, Calcitriol