Eczema & Vitamin D – The Truth About Vitamin D Supplementation and Easing Eczema Symptoms

Vitamin D and Eczema

Have you ever wondered how important vitamin D levels can be for eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis? This week, we take a look at a variety of studies that examine vitamin D and eczema. We’ll also discuss how much of it you may need in order to treat eczema properly and effectively.

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several atopic dermatitis sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

If you are not producing enough vitamin D, your immune system can weaken which can cause the skin barrier to break down and the chances for a skin infection to increase. It is no wonder why many atopic eczema sufferers’ skin gets worse in the winter. In addition to the dry air created by indoor heaters, it’s possible they’re developing vitamin D insufficiency.

A woman with eczema scratching

ILW Recommends: Does your Child’s Eczema Get Worse in the Winter?

For a while now, a common treatment for severe eczema (especially during the winter months) has been to increase sun exposure, as ultraviolet light essentially stimulates the production of vitamin D in the skin.

However, recently the consumption of vitamin D has shown to be just as effective in treating and healing atopic dermatitis. In fact, several studies have been conducted to determine the vitamin D levels present in the skin of those with eczema, as well as the effects of vitamin D in treating eczema.

Studies with Vitamin D & Eczema

A randomized controlled trial using vitamins E and D supplementation in atopic dermatitis

In 2011, a study [1] was conducted to assess the effects of vitamin D3 and E supplementation in eczema patients. 45 atopic eczema patients were included in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment where each was treated for 60 days.

Separate vitamin D supplement groups and vitamin E supplement groups each saw an improvement in the intensity and amount of atopic dermatitis by around 35%. But together, when 1600 IU of vitamin D3 and 600 IU of vitamin E were given together, patients improved by 64%!!

The study revealed that there were notable effects and benefits in vitamin D supplementation for eczema patients and even more so when given together with vitamin E.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) treated with 1600 IU of vitamin D

In December 2016 a systematic review [2] was conducted in order to compile results from various past studies on vitamin D levels and eczema.

They looked at four randomized controlled trials, including the one mentioned just above, and they were able to discover that eczema patients (especially children) had generally lower vitamin D levels. And all studies they reviewed indicated that vitamin D supplements helped to improve a patient’s eczema overall.

But How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Although many studies have shown that vitamin D can be beneficial in the treatment of eczema, another question might be: how much vitamin D does one need to heal safely and effectively?

Prior to taking vitamin D supplements, it’s important to note that in summer conditions or hot weather, it’s possible to generate close to 20,000 units of vitamin D3 just from sun exposure. However, during the winter months, it’s difficult to generate anything close to that amount let alone the recommended dosage, so it is better to prevent vitamin D deficiency by supplementation.

A hand holding a glowing pill

Vitamin D Dose Recommendations

Generally, 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight is the recommended average dose.

Check out the chart below for more information:

Below 535 units per pound per day
Age 5 – 102500 units
Adults4000-8000 units
Pregnant Women5000-10000 units

Although these are general recommendations, testing your blood for vitamin D really is the only reliable way to know what your or your little one’s needs are to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

ALWAYS speak with your physician before starting any sort of supplementation, so that you can avoid taking too little or too much vitamin D.

Where to find Vitamin D?

  • Vitamin D is naturally found in fatty fish and fish oils, as well as ( in small amounts) in beef liver, egg yolks and cheese. Not all oils are created equal, so be sure to read about fish oil for eczema to learn about the safest oils.
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
  • Sun, sun, sun… Oh, and SUN!
  • As available, safe and inexpensive tablets such as these Viva Naturals High Potency Vitamin D3 Jennifer Roberge, our founder, and editor, swears by liquid drops and loves this brand for her family. She adds the drops to her kid’s oatmeal and cereal or any breakfast food and it doesn’t change the taste.

Food rich in vitamin D

Additional Vitamin D Benefits

Apart from helping you with your atopic dermatitis, keeping the right level of vitamin D in your body may have many other health benefits. Namely, it may help to protect you from such health issues as:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • depression
  • multiple sclerosis
  • bone loss
  • cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

It is often hard to identify vitamin D deficiency because it may show no signs or symptoms for months or even years. On top of that, there are people who don’t experience them throughout their whole life!

Weak Immunity System

However, vitamin D deficiency can show its presence through a weakened immunity, for instance. If you often catch a cold or flu, it may be due to low vitamin D levels. What’s more, there are studies showing that it can even make you more prone to pneumonia or bronchitis.

Also, due to the recent pandemic, a stronger immune system can help you to avoid getting infected with COVID-19. However, it is important to remember that taking vitamin D supplements in any amount will not make you 100% immune to this disease and you still need to be cautious about it.

Bone and Back Pain

Vitamin D is significant for your bone health as it helps you to absorb calcium properly. As a result, keeping it at the right level can help you make your bones stronger and less prone to breaking. On top of that, keeping vitamin D levels high will contribute to avoiding back pain.

A man with a back pain

Tiredness and Fatigue

You can feel tired for many different reasons, but vitamin D insufficiency is one of the most possible ones, although it tends to be overlooked. Such likely causes as insomnia, stress or depression are more visible, so they are more easily linked with tiredness and fatigue than something that may show no other signs or symptoms.

Nevertheless, a study conducted on 480 adult participants with vitamin D deficiency shows that it may have a significant impact, so keeping its proper levels in your body can help you have more energy and not get tired too fast.

Again, if you have vitamin D deficiency or think you might have to supplement it with higher doses, it’s always best to see your doctor before doing so. Also, keep in mind that although vitamin D and other supplements can be helpful in easing some eczema symptoms, they may not be enough (especially if you have severe atopic dermatitis).

What about probiotics? Learn more in Can Probiotics Help Eczema?

Looking for more answers to the eczema puzzle? Find out more in Jennifer’s post Natural Remedies for Eczema: What Worked For My Son.

What are your eczema symptoms like in winter? Do you supplement with vitamin D? We want to hear from you in the comments below!

Bio: Laura Dolgy is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.


  1. Randomized controlled trial using vitamins E and D supplementation in atopic dermatitis.
  2. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) treated by 1600 IU of vitamin D
  3. Vitamin D deficiency and lower respiratory tract infections in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
  4. Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

FROM: Eczema


  1. Deanna on November 7, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I had to stop giving my baby vitamin D because it was suspended in coconut oil and she is allergic to coconut oil, egg whites and soy protein. I cannot find a supplement for babies that does not contain coconut oil or medium chain triglycerides. Does anyone have any advice on how I can find one without coconut oil? Thank you.

    • Jennifer Roberge on November 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Yes, we like the Pure brand Vitamin D.

      • Deanna on November 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Thank you, but I believe the Pure Vitamin D supplement contains MCT oil which is made from coconut oil as well:(

    • Hello on May 15, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      MRM brand vegan/vegetarian D3 (made from lichen) with K2. iHerb have it. Contains ‘vitashine’ 2500IU of D3 per capsule so you’ll have to open them up and make a paste with perhaps non salted grass fed butter. Shame your baby can’t tolerate coconut oil as it’s great topically as well.
      Vaccines don’t appear to contain lichen so you should be alergy free hopefully.
      You want to avoid oil based D3 derived from sheep’s wool (yes, not a typo) as sheep get dipped in pesticides/fungicides etc and I doubt they can completely remove it from the lanolin/wool prior to UV radiation.

      • weirdlynormal on March 14, 2019 at 11:15 am

        coconut oil makes my eczema way worse, im not sure why. maybe im allergic too.

        topical vitamin d cream with aloe and k I bought off amazon gets rid of it in days though,

        and i also have two rx creams and that metaderm stuff they used to sell on amazon everyone seemed to rave about. Topical vitamin d works better for me than even oral+topical steroids together. I dont know why. it just takes a few days and its gone. Even my worst spot where i had no hair growing for years due to the skin damage, is healed now and has hair growing again.

    • Diann on January 9, 2020 at 2:40 am

      Try. Carlson labs vitamin D3. For infants and all ages. No yeast. no wheat. GMO.
      Try amazon… Hope this helps!

  2. Ashley on November 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry to add negative comments on this vitamin d3 and vitamin E supplements this kind of works short term
    Although it has stopped working I still take it anyway thinking it might help me out in the long term (taking for the last two years)
    There is no cure for psoriasis sufferers yet.

    • Angie on June 23, 2021 at 10:59 pm

      Have you tried turmeric. My so has very bad eczema and as long as I give him turmeric, d3, E it helps him. I had backed off turmeric last year thinking it wasn’t helping him and he had a really really bad case. He ended up in ther urgent care. The last few months we have had a lot going on and I backed off the vitamin d3, and E and he broke out bad again not as bad as last year bait almost. Maybe the turmeric will help. 1950 mg is what he takes.

      • Dan on December 12, 2022 at 7:10 am

        That is a good combo will give it a try. Another person said anytime there is a skin problem your gut is off balance. The turmeric would help cover the gut problem even in some cases help chrons deases and ulcerative colitis . Large and small intestine problems.

  3. Carrie on March 24, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Which vitamin E supplement is recommended? And at what dosage?

    • Jennifer Roberge on March 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Not sure about vitamin E. Vitamin D is more commonly recommended for eczema.

  4. Kate Horler on May 9, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I had severe eczema for over 30 years mostly on my hands, also painful cracks at the side of my mouth and pain in my hip bones, doctors gave me steroid cream and moisturizers that my skin couldn’t tolerate. Then a colleague was diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency and I thought I would try taking supplements, amazingly within weeks my eczema cleared up almost completely the pain in my hips went and the cracks around my mouth healed up. That was 6 years ago and I continue to take vitamin D tablets and I remain eczema free.

    • Jennifer Roberge on May 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

      That’s great Kate! So glad vitamin D helped you!

  5. Fred Hodshon on December 24, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    K2 is a good compliment to a D3 supplement.

  6. Andrew on January 21, 2019 at 5:49 am

    I’m a lifelong eczema sufferer (50 years) and 6 weeks ago starting taking 6,000 IUs of vitamin D and some ‘Mega-B’ tablets every day. I took the Mega-B because I read vitamin B7 is also good for skin problems. Within a week my eczema was noticeably better, after 4 weeks only a few stubborn patches were left and now you wouldn’t know I ever had eczema. I tried vitamin D years ago but only at the dosage recommended on the bottle and it made no difference so my experience is that either the higher dosage helped or the addition of the vitamin B tablets helped. I hope this helps somebody.

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 21, 2019 at 10:40 am

      That’s so wonderful Andrew! Very happy you found something that works so well for you!

    • Emily on June 13, 2020 at 6:06 am

      Hi Andrew, since it’s been more than a year and a half now since you started using vitamin d, can I ask about the progress of your eczema condition? If it continued to improve since then and if you are still using it at the moment?

  7. melanie on March 22, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I know this is an older post, but I wanted to share that I give my son who is allergic to most foods the NORDIC NATURALS BABY VD. The base is organic extra virgin olive oil THATS IT!!!!! Hope this helps any allergy moms out there

  8. Rosalyn on July 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I am 43 years old and am a lifelong eczema sufferer. My eczema has grown progressively worse over the years and I’ve tried all of the regular treatments: antihistamines, steroid creams, non-steroid creams, bleach baths, etc. I recently read about the benefits of Vitamin D for eczema and decided to try it. As bad as my eczema-irritated skin was, I figured I had nothing to lose. I’ve been taking Vitamin D3 for 4 weeks now and have seen about a 75% improvement in my eczema. I didn’t think there was anything out there that could help my eczema. Neither my dermatologist nor my allergist nor my immunologist ever recommended Vitamin D to help my eczema. I’m so glad I’ve kept doing research over the years. Thank you for articles such as this. I hope other eczema sufferers can find some relief same as I did.

    • Alyssa on February 12, 2021 at 8:29 am

      How much Vitamin D do you take in UIs? I was given by a functional doctor 5000 UIs and I am only 92 lbs, I was taking for a week and the my normal doctor told me to not take that much? So confused. Do you know what your levels were prior to taking?

      • Kristi on August 26, 2021 at 2:23 pm

        Your doctor should test to determine if it’s too much. Your functional medicine doctor knows way more. I take 10,000 iu a day for the past 6 years, my vitamin d levels are excellent. I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding 3 babies over that time as well.

  9. Matt on February 10, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    I’m treating my Dyshidrotic Eczema with up to 8000 IU D3 a day.
    This is after I notice my Eczema breakout just at end of summer !
    It helps but not completely – It could be that I need to increase the dosage

  10. Carroll on March 13, 2021 at 11:49 am

    People are not aware that shampoos that grow your hair faster and longer (of course with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) even exist. Hair styling enthusiasts now may have longer hair and achieve more alternatives. For sure worth searching.

    If you’re talking about hair loss, hair damage, preventing scalp disorders, hair growth, hair care generally, similar rules apply.

    As a rule of thumb, you have to steer clear of hair products and treatments that use chemicals such as parabens, DEA and sulfates.

    What’s good for your hair is good for your skin also.

    Obviously your content above hits the nail in the head for so many reasons. It stays away from the accustomed mistakes and traps too many fall into: getting ineffective alternatives. Thank you so much!

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