Monday, August 22, 2016


"Atopic dermatitis (AD)" is the medical term for what is more commonly called "childhood eczema." A new study out of Harvard shows that lower levels of prenatal maternal Vitamin D (25(OH)D) correlates with a higher risk of atopic dermatitis in early childhood. The researchers did not find a correlation between Vitamin D intake and early childhood eczema but did find a slight correlation between intake and mid-childhood atopic dermatitis.

In my own practice, we drew Vitamin D blood levels on approximately 1000 patients. ONLY ONE patient had a normal level. All of the rest were below normal. Granted, this was in a predominately White suburb of Milwaukee but the message is clear: get your Vitamin D on. If you can get outside, do it. Observe the normal precautions against sunburn, of course. If you cannot get outside every day, consider taking Vitamin D as a supplement. As always, discuss this with your health care provider first. Personally, I take a fish oil/Vitamin D combination capsule twice a day. Each capsule contains 2,0000 International Units (I.U.) of Vitamin D3 and 600 mg of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Vitamin D supplementation is also an effective treatment for AD.

Other non-medical treatments (meaning that you don't need a physician's prescription) for AD include probiotics (the greater the variety of bacterial strains the better), moisturizers, and possibly a gluten-free diet. Exposure to ultraviolet light also helps flare-ups.

Prevention entails letting "kids be kids." Those who are raised in a "sanitized" environment develop eczema more often than children who habitually play outside. In the dirt. And children who are exposed to dogs while growing up also have a lower risk of developing AD.

So the moral of the story is this: get outside, play around, and pet your dog. Sounds like a prescription for a good life anyway.

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