Building on the previously-observed benefits of vitamin D supplementation for patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD), findings from a new study suggest that adding the vitamin as an adjunct to treatment with topical hydrocortisone cream can improve clinical outcomes in patients with severe disease.
In the paper, published online in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives (Nov. 3, 2020), 86 participants were randomized to receive either vitamin D3 1600 IU/day or a placebo, plus baseline therapy of topical 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily for 12 weeks.
The primary endpoints in the paper were change in mean Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score at the end of the study and the mean per cent change in EASI score from baseline to week 12.
At the end of the study period, the mean EASI score was significantly lower in the treatment group compared to placebo group (p=0.035). There was also a significant difference in the per cent change in EASI score from baseline between the vitamin D supplementation group (56.44±29.33) and the placebo group (42.09±19.22) after intervention (p=0.039).
While in their conclusions, the investigators say the findings suggest that oral vitamin D supplementation may improve outcomes in these patients, they note that a lack of ethnic diversity in their patient sample limits the ability to generalize the findings.
“More investigations are needed to reveal factors associated with superior clinical outcomes in some supplemented patients,” they write. “We advocate further multicenter studies with larger sample size of ethnic diverse population to validate the potential benefit of vit D on clinical outcomes of severe pediatric eczema. Further studies are also needed to examine whether the positive impact of supplementation would be maintained in pediatrics with winter‐related severe eczema.”