Vitamin D and eczema - dosages, food sources, and Karen's supplement pick

Vitamin D is manufactured in the skin after exposure to direct sunlight, and is also obtained through your diet. Colleagues from the children’s hospital in Boston have found that children with moderate to severe atopic eczema had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared with children with milder symptoms. Deficiency is linked to a range of health problems including rickets, poor bone health, severe fatigue, psoriasis and muscle weakness. Deficiency signs of vitamin D include eczema or dermatitis, fatigue, joint pain or stiffness, psoriasis and muscle weakness.

Vitamin D: dosages and food sources

Vitamin D (also known as)

Supplement dosages (milligrams per day)

Eczema-friendly food sources

Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) Note: Many vitamin D supplements are soy-based (see ‘Useful resources’ for suggestions)

Infants (AI)

25 mcg (200 IU) from breastmilk or hypoallergenic (dairy-free) infant formula

Children + teens

1–4 years: 5 mcg (200 IU) 
5–12 years: 5–10 mcg (200–400 IU)


5–20 mcg (400–800 IU) 
(IU = international units) (mcg is also referred to as μg)

100 g (31⁄2 oz) grilled herring: 25 mcg^ 
100 g (31⁄2 oz) canned red salmon: 23.1 mcg^ 
100 g (31⁄2 oz) canned pink salmon: 17 mcg^ 
150 g (5 oz) grilled trout: 16.5 mcg^ 
150 g (5 oz) grilled salmon: 14.4 mcg^ 
100 g (31⁄2 oz) cooked kippers: 9.4 mcg 
100 g (31⁄2 oz) cooked mackerel: 5.4 mcg^ 
100 g (31⁄2 oz) flathead: 1 mcg

AI: Adequate Intake as per Australian Government guidelines. 
RDI: Recommended Daily Intake as per Australian Government guidelines, shown on the table as the lowest dose. The higher range is the therapeutic dose. 
^This ingredient contains amines so it is not permitted on the FID Program during weeks 1–2. Fresh white fish, such as flathead, is allowed on both programs if you are not allergic to seafood.


  • Vitamin D can cause insomnia if taken late in the afternoon or before bed so consume it earlier in the day. Frequent use of cortisone cream can deplete vitamin D levels in the skin. 
  • As vitamin D is manufactured in the skin after sunlight exposure, frequent and small exposure to sunlight combined with a healthy diet and supplementation can help restore vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D supplementation

We are frequently asked to recommend a vitamin D supplement and we usually recommend this one as it is soy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. Note the vitamin D brands in Australia contain soy and possibly additives so at present Deva Vegan Vitamin D is the only brand we recommend. If you are not sensitive to soy, other brands may be fine but you will need to contact the manufacturer to check the excipients as these are not usually listed on the bottle.


At Eczema Life, we recommend nutritionist Karen Fischer's low food chemical program (The Eczema Detox) along with additive-free supplements for skin health and wellbeing. Click on the images to view more details: