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Proof – This Vitamin Can Help Treat Severe Skin Inflammation And Boost Immunity Against Chemical-Induced Rashes

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Inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, poison ivy, and poison oak can result in skin inflammation and rashes, causing redness, pain, itching, and dryness, which can be difficult to diagnose and manage.

Additionally, chronic skin inflammation may be hereditary and can be activated by allergens, extreme temperatures, and even stress.

Certain rashes are linked with viral or bacterial infections, and in severe cases, hospital treatment may be necessary.

When it comes to treating skin inflammation, there are many options.

The results of a clinical trial conducted by Northwestern Medicine and published in JCI Insight indicate that high-dose oral vitamin D can lower skin inflammation and enhance immunoprotection in patients who suffer from chemical-induced skin rashes.

In addition, the researchers, led by Kurt Lu, MD, the Eugene and Gloria Bauer Professor of Dermatology, observed in these patients a new molecular signature that may support clinicians in determining which patients have a higher likelihood of developing severe allergic reactions to treatments such as topical chemotherapy.

Oral vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective characteristics and has no side effects, according to Lu. It is a safe and easily accessible dietary supplement. 

According to Lu, the findings also show “a new avenue of exploration for druggable targets to both reduce consequences of injury and enhance wound healing.”

The FDA-approved topical nitrogen mustard, a drug with known chemical irritant properties, was applied to the inner arm skin of 28 healthy participants to produce an experimental rash for the randomized, double-blinded clinical trial. After the exposure, the researchers collected skin tissue samples for analysis. After that, participants either got an oral vitamin D treatment at a high dose or a placebo.

Overall, those who took vitamin D supplements showed less skin tissue irritation and inflammation than those who took a placebo.

Further multi-omic studies of skin tissue and blood samples from the vitamin D group demonstrated that the pro-inflammatory IL-17 signaling pathway was suppressed.

As strong responses to topical chemotherapy and other drugs may either delay or prevent patients from obtaining proper treatment, Lu believes that this establishes IL-17 signaling as a viable biomarker.

This molecular signature could help doctors figure out which patients are most likely to have a severe allergic reaction. This would let them make early changes to the treatment plan or use supportive therapies. 

Lu and the authors “suggest that giving patients vitamin D when they begin medical treatment may suppress these severe reactions.”

Lu said that in the future, his team wants to learn more about how oral vitamin D supplements could be used to treat rashes caused by other types of treatments and medications. This would build on their previous findings, which were published in JAMA Dermatology and showed that vitamin D can help treat toxic erythema of chemotherapy, which is a severe rash caused by chemotherapy.

To completely understand the anti-inflammatory processes of vitamin D, Lu says, they want to undertake more molecular investigations. 

“And we will look to increase vitamin D efficacy through targeted delivery using biomimetic nanoparticles.”

Image Credit: Getty

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