If you live with psoriasis then you know how difficult it can be to plan your day around your flare-ups. When your skin becomes inflamed with itchy, scaly plaques, you may not feel like leaving the house.
Luckily, you have options, one of which may be as simple as diagnosing and treating a vitamin D deficiency. At Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, dermatologist Javier Zelaya, MD, and our team are dedicated to caring for your skin.
If psoriasis is affecting your quality of life, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Zelaya. He can help you determine what might be causing your psoriasis or making your symptoms worse. One of those factors could be a vitamin D deficiency.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common autoimmune skin condition that essentially speeds up the life cycle of your skin cells. This process causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of your skin, leading to scales and patches that are often both itchy and painful.
Psoriasis usually comes and goes in phases, and various factors can contribute to flare-ups, including:
- Heavy drinking
- Certain medications
There are also factors that may predispose you to the condition, including a family history of psoriasis, being obese, and having a compromised immune system.
Vitamin D can make a difference with your psoriasis
A 2011 study published in the journal Dermatology Research and Practice found that vitamin D has many benefits when it comes to managing psoriasis. Vitamin D can help strengthen your immune system, reducing flare-ups. Vitamin D also can slow the growth of new cells and help thin the plaques that form on your skin, so that any flare-ups you do experience aren’t as severe.
What can you do about a vitamin D deficiency?
You can address your vitamin D deficiency in a variety of ways. Vitamin D comes as an oral supplement or a topical ointment or cream. You can also boost your vitamin D by supplementing your diet with vitamin D-rich products like cheese, egg yolks, and fatty fish, like tuna. Some foods are vitamin D-fortified, for instance, cereal, orange juice, and dairy products.
Last, but certainly not least, is to get outside during the day and expose your skin to safe amounts of sunlight. Vitamin D is called “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun helps your body manufacture its own vitamin D.
Whatever is contributing to your psoriasis, the dermatological experts at Skinworks Dermatology can help. To learn more, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online.