Did you know that 70% of people affected by rosacea face psychological conditions ranging from low self-esteem to depression? Much research has been carried out into this skin condition that affects 14 million Americans and some ties have been knotted to vitamin D deficiency.
How is Vitamin D Related to Rosacea?
Cathelicidin is an anti-microbial peptide (AMP) that is linked to playing a central role in rosacea’s pathology. Usually, your body’s immune system produces low levels of AMPs on the skin. But if you are a rosacea sufferer, you are likely fighting with abnormal and extreme levels of cathelicidin production.
Scientists believe if cathelicidin production can be brought under control, it acts as a healthy skin barrier to preventing facial redness. This means that both extremities of cathelicidin can cause problems. Extremely low levels of cathelicidin mean your skin is more vulnerable to infections and very high levels are seen as flare-ups.
You must be aware that vitamin D is very good for the skin because it aids in normal skin cell production and acts as an anti-infective barrier. What vitamin D does is that it regulates the drastic effects of cathelicidin thereby reducing embarrassing facial flushing.
Supporting Research in Favor of Vitamin D
Dr Richard Gallo of the University of California, back in 2007, had discovered that antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidins were produced in abnormal quantities by proteolytic enzymes in the skin. Because of Dr.Gallo’s research, many other scientists also initiated research in this direction.
Few years back, Siegfried Segaert of the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, also undertook a study to establish a link between the regulation of cathelicidins and vitamin D; he proved it right.
In another research published in Experimental Dermatology in August 2008, revealed that vitamin D-3 may be used in the treatment for inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea. Cathelicidin was known to stop the bacteria that cause skin inflammations. However, much research is still needed to figure out how D-3 receptors can be targeted to regulate levels of cathelicidin.
Use Vitamin D to Prevent Rosacea Symptoms
The American Academy of Dermatology identifies that foods rich in Vitamin D and dietary supplements should be taken by rosacea patients. Vitamin D is found in tuna, sardines and other fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and mushrooms. With one in four Americans being vitamin D deficient, scientists believe other illnesses such as muscular weakness and autism are also caused by lack of vitamin D.
The sun is also an abundant source of Vitamin D, however the American Academy of Dermatology cautions against overexposure to the sun and indoor sources such as tanning devices, as these are known to cause skin cancer.
So if you are suffering from embarrassing facial flushes, make sure you get enough vitamin D in your diet along with controlled exposures to the sun and avoid any sugary and spicy foods and alcohol as they trigger reddening attacks.