The major, and essential, fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Except for vitamin D, most vitamins can only be obtained from the diet. Vitamin D is synthesized when the body is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun.
Vitamin A, commonly found in yellow- and orange-colored vegetables, is essential for the healthy production of skin cells.
Vitamin A, or retinoids, have been used topically to treat photodamage as well as psoriasis by reducing the overproduction of skin cells that occurs with psoriasis.
Additionally, topical retinoids can reduce skin inflammation in plaque psoriasis. Topical vitamin A creams have a lower absorption rate compared to oral vitamin A-related drugs, resulting in fewer side effects for patients.
A vitamin A supplement can be used for psoriasis; however, this should always be coordinated by a doctor.
Psoriasis has historically been treated by light therapy via the sun. Researchers believe the therapeutic effect lies in the sun’s ability to help the body produce vitamin D, a powerful hormone that plays a role in hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body.
Recent studies have shown a direct benefit of using both oral as well as topical vitamin D preparations for alleviating psoriasis symptoms safely and effectively.
Additionally, one study has shown that the use of supplemental vitamin D, combined with a steroid cream, produces more favorable results compared with vitamin D alone.
Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that also serves as an antioxidant, may be helpful for psoriasis.
Vitamin C can be obtained from diet, from supplements, or both. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and berries.
Many patients with psoriasis experience a reduced serum level of selenium, a potent antioxidant produced by the body.
Vitamin E supplements in one study helped to improve selenium concentrations in psoriasis patients. However, there is no evidence that this reduces the severity of psoriasis symptoms.
As that vitamin E and selenium are both antioxidants, they can help to protect against the oxidative stress that occurs with psoriasis.
Vitamin E can be taken in oral form with the advice of a qualified physician. Pumpkin seeds and spinach are two good sources of vitamin E.