Vitamin D, Dust Mites, and Atopic Dermatitis – MedPage Today
Patients with severe atopic dermatitis who have lower serum vitamin D levels have a high sensitivity to house dust mites, which can aggravate their condition, a new study showed.
The findings are “significant,” but preliminary, according to Do Won Kim, MD, of the National University School of Medicine in Seoul, and colleagues.
“Patients with low serum vitamin D levels have an increased risk of house dust mites sensitization by increased penetration of house dust mites through the broken skin barrier. Findings of this study suggest that vitamin D level may affect sensitization,” they wrote in the Annals of Dermatology.
The study was small, with only 43 men and 37 women, of which 43.8% had mild to moderate disease and 56% had severe atopic dermatitis, which was determined by Rajka and Langeland scores. Laboratory tests included serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, total immunoglobulin E (IgE), and specific IgE antibody titer against Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus.
The authors suggested that high sensitivity to house dust mites may aggravate immunologic dysregulation associated with the development of severe atopic dermatitis.
Recent studies have shown there may be a connection between vitamin D and allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. But there is little evidence that connects vitamin D with the development of allergic skin diseases and the severity of these diseases, yet researchers continue to evaluate this connection. Some studies show an inverse association between vitamin D and atopic dermatitis severity, while other studies show no significant correlation between the two.
Here’s what we know with certainty: Vitamin D has a role in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. And, the more defective the immune system, the weaker antimicrobial defense systems become comprising the integrity of the epidermal barrier.
If vitamin D disrupts the immune system, it is possible that it may impair the body’s natural defense mechanisms against common household allergens, such as the house dust mite. The study authors set out to evaluate the correlation between serum vitamin D levels and sensitization to house dust mites according to the severity of atopic dermatitis.
The mean serum vitamin D level of patients in the study was 19.29±8.03 ng/ml. There was no significant difference between serum vitamin D levels between patients with severe atopic dermatitis (19.46±8.10 ng/ml) and mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (18.98±7.97 ng/ml, P=0.72).
But for patients with severe atopic dermatitis, the mean total serum IgE level (2,011.96± 993.89 kU/L) was significantly higher than that in patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (260.88±431.54 kU/L, P＜0.05).
Patients with severe atopic dermatitis who had significantly lower serum vitamin D levels were also found to have high D. farina sensitization (P＜0.05). The same was true of D. pteronyssinus in which patients with severe disease, the presence of high D. pteronyssinus sensitization usually equated with lower serum vitamin D levels with statistical significance (P＜0.05). No such association was found in mild to moderate disease.
This article originally appeared on our partner’s website Dermatology Times, which is a part of UBM Medica. (Free registration is required.)