Background:  Vitamin D deficiency could be associated with the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD). We carried out a study to see whether deficient/insufficient levels of vitamin D correlate with the severity of atopic skin disease.

Methods:  Using the SCORAD index, we evaluated the severity of disease in thirty-seven children (18 males) between 8 months and 12 years of age with AD, consecutively enrolled in the study. 25 hydroxyvitamin D serum levels were determined by a chemiluminescent method. Specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) to Sthaphylococcus aureus enterotoxins and Malassezia furfur were assayed by the ImmunoCAP system. ANOVA and the Pearson correlation test were used for statistical evaluation.

Results:  We found severe, moderate and mild AD in 9 (24%), 13 (35%) and 15 (41%) children, respectively. Mean 25 hydroxyvitamin D serum levels were significantly higher (p<0.05) in patients with mild disease (36.9±15.7 ng/ml) compared to those with moderate (27.5±8.3 ng/ml) or severe AD (20.5±5.9 ng/ml) conditions. The prevalence of patients with sIgE to microbial antigens increased in relation to vitamin D deficiency and AD severity.

Conclusion:  These data suggest that vitamin D deficiency may be related to the severity of atopic dermatitis and advocate the need for studies evaluating the use of vitamin D as a potential treatment in patients with this disease.