Links may exist between vitamin D and psoriasis. Some research suggests that low levels of vitamin D can trigger the immune system. It is possible that boosting vitamin D levels may help reduce symptoms of psoriasis.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is very important for maintaining and supporting the health of bones, teeth, the immune system, and other parts of the body, including the skin. Some scientists have found links between vitamin D and some skin conditions, including psoriasis.

This article will look at the relationship between psoriasis and vitamin D, how to get more vitamin D, and whether or not an extra dose of this vitamin can help people with psoriasis.

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Vitamin D plays a role in many bodily functions. Research indicates that this includes different roles in the proper functioning of the skin, including an involvement in inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis.

Some evidence notes that low vitamin D levels are common among people with long-term psoriasis. At present, the precise role of vitamin D in psoriasis is unclear. Some individuals with psoriasis may have lower levels of vitamin D due to various factors, such as covering their skin to decrease sunlight exposure.

However, other evidence suggests that low levels of vitamin D may trigger the immune system and could result in the development of conditions such as psoriasis. Vitamin D may also influence keratinocytes in the skin, which are the most abundant cell in the outer layer of the skin. Low levels may cause more of these cells to grow and lead to the development of thick, scaly plaques that are a common symptom of psoriasis.

While further research is still necessary to understand the connection between vitamin D and psoriasis, it may be possible that low vitamin D levels are involved in the development of psoriasis. As such, many treatments for psoriasis may include vitamin D, or similar substances, to treat and reduce symptoms.

Below are some ways that people living with psoriasis can attempt to boost their vitamin D levels.


Good dietary sources of vitamin D can include:

A person’s diet can provide a safe source of vitamin D, with most people getting enough vitamin D through a healthy diet and careful exposure to the sun’s UVB rays.

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) suggests a daily value for vitamin D as 15 micrograms (mcg) or 600 international units (IU) for adults aged 18-70 years. A tablespoon of cod liver oil provides 1,360 IU and 3 ounces of trout provides 645 IU.


The sun enables the body to produce vitamin D. However, sunlight can result in damage to the skin and may increase the risk of skin cancer. For this reason, sunlight exposure may not be an advisable treatment for everyone with psoriasis. People with psoriasis should ask a doctor for advice before increasing their exposure to sunlight.

Similarly, tanning beds are not suitable for treating psoriasis because they may also increase the risk of skin cancer.

Instead, a healthcare professional may suggest UVB treatment as an option.

UVB light therapy

Light therapy, or phototherapy, is a treatment that uses UV light to slow the excessive skin cell production that psoriasis causes. While there are many different types of light therapy available, practitioners most often use UVB light therapy to treat psoriasis.

UVB rays may help treat the condition by slowing rapidly growing skin cells, reducing inflammation, and reducing itching.

While this option uses UVB rays, which triggers the production of vitamin D in the skin, it may be other factors rather than the additional vitamin D that improves symptoms of psoriasis.

Click here to learn more about phototherapy at home.


Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Plants and fungi produce vitamin D2 and animals, including humans, produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 can also be made from 7-dehydrocholesterol obtained from lanolin, which is extracted from the wool of sheep.

A doctor may recommend supplements for those who may be at risk of a deficiency, such as people with darker skin tones, those living in areas with limited sunlight or people with limited sun exposure due to being inside most of the time.

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, taking more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of Vitamin D a day could be harmful.

However, a 2022 case series suggests that oral vitamin D supplementation could offer complete remission of psoriasis without any side effects. It indicates that taking doses of vitamin D3 ranging from 30,000–60,000 IU over a period of 2–6 months, followed by a lower daily maintenance dose may help manage symptoms of psoriasis.

It’s important to note that researchers closely monitored participants in this study and periodically checked their vitamin D and calcium levels.

It adds that a supervised, daily oral supplement could be given safely as an effective treatment for psoriasis in some people. However, more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness, best dose, and side effects of vitamin D for people with psoriasis.

There is currently no specific recommendation for adults with psoriasis to take vitamin D supplements. Anyone with psoriasis who is considering supplements should speak to a doctor first.


A doctor may prescribe creams and other topical applications containing synthetic forms of vitamin D, known as analogs, to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. These vitamin D-like chemicals are typically safe options that people can continue using long-term, alongside other treatment options. They often include calcipotriene and calcitriol as active ingredients.

Some studies have found that applying vitamin D to the skin, especially combined with corticosteroids, might be an effective treatment. To reduce the risk of side effects, a person should apply a thin layer once or twice daily and should not exceed a 200 gram dose a week. A doctor may also advise taking small breaks between topical treatments to allow the skin to recover.

People with psoriasis often have low levels of vitamin D, but the reason is unclear. Low levels of vitamin D can result from:

  • poor diet
  • conditions that limit fat absorption, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (vitamin D is fat soluble and relies on the gut’s ability to absorb dietary fat)
  • lack of exposure to sunlight
  • certain medical conditions

In addition, people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency if they:

  • are older in age
  • have a high BMI
  • are breastfed infants
  • have a darker skin tone
  • get little exposure to the sun, such as due to winter cloud cover, an indoor lifestyle, or wearing clothing that covers the whole body

If there is a chance that a person has low vitamin D levels, a doctor can use a blood test to check. If the levels are low, they may advise the person to take oral supplements to increase their levels.

According to the ODS, taking too high a dose of a vitamin D supplement can lead to:

  • loss of appetite
  • excessive urination
  • irregular heart beat
  • high calcium levels in the blood, increasing the risk of kidney stones and cardiovascular problems.

Before changing the diet, or using any supplements, it is advisable for a person to consult their doctor. They will be able to provide guidance and help prevent any side effects and interactions with other drugs.

At present, there is not much evidence to suggest that other vitamins or supplements may help reduce symptoms of psoriasis.

However, oily fish are a good source of vitamin D, and some people with psoriasis believe that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help ease their psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation, which suggests it could help with inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis.

Currently, not enough long-term clinical trials exist to show whether these supplements are effective for treating psoriasis.

Below are some commonly asked questions about vitamin D and psoriasis.

Can vitamin D supplements help psoriasis?

A 2022 case series suggests that oral vitamin D supplementation could offer complete remission of psoriasis without any adverse events.

However, more research is needed on this topic.

What cream has vitamin D for psoriasis?

Calcipotriene, also known as Calcipotriol, is a synthetic form of vitamin D which is available as a cream. This is often as a treatment for psoriasis.

Is 30,000 IU of vitamin D safe?

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, taking more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of Vitamin D a day could be harmful.

However, a 2022 case series suggests that taking 750-1500 micrograms (30,000–60,000 IU) of vitamin D3 over a period of 2–6 months, followed by a lower daily maintenance dose could manage symptoms of psoriasis in some people.

Anyone with psoriasis who is considering supplements should speak with a doctor first.

Some evidence suggests a possible link between vitamin D and psoriasis. Research indicates that vitamin D may influence inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis, and people with the condition often have low levels of vitamin D. Many treatment options for psoriasis also use analogs of vitamin D or help supply the body with sufficient levels, such as phototherapy.

However, scientists do not yet understand how the two interact and more research is necessary to determine if increasing vitamin D levels is beneficial. Before making any changes to their lifestyle to increase vitamin D, it is advisable for people to consult their doctor about possible options.