Vitamin D as an Eczema cure?

I am really stretching the vitamin D thing lately but I just saw some medical news out of a skin conference in Praugue.

The research explained that a certain kind of Vitamin D supplement was more effective that topical steroidal cream for getting rid of eczema, this is bound to be big news in my house.

vitamin-dAlmost half of patients with steroid-resistant hand eczema had complete or near-complete clearance when treated with the oral vitamin D analog alitretinoin, according to data from two randomized clinical trials.

Almost 80% of patients who relapsed after alitretinoin withdrawal regained disease control when treated again with the 9-cis retinoic acid agent, Uwe Hillen, M.D., of University Clinic in Essen, Germany, reported here at the International Congress of Dermatology.

“Alitretinoin produced improvement in all of the individual signs and symptoms of chronic hand eczema,” said Dr. Hillen. “Patients who relapse after initial treatment can be effectively retreated with alitretinoin, suggesting it is a suitable, intermittent treatment option for the long-term management of this chronic, relapsing disease.”

So the question is how hard would is be to get alitretinoin prescribed for this. The other question is weather taking alitretinoin is a bit of overkill for most people that have eczema probably this is suspected to be the best treatment for people with very bad rashes.

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  1. says

    qestion in the later years i found that mine lexs are geting sore ,wenh i am walking, i am a old person 84 years of age, but very healthy, and flexceble, i do excercise every day 15 minutes, with and springs, never been sick, but mine lexs but stops me, from going outside walking i ,have been told to take vitamin D31000IU, would that help me ,i am a old dutch man, hope you can read mine ,writing bernardus

  2. Josee says

    Hey, my names Josee. just reently started having eczema on my face (on my cheek bones and a bit on my chin)…just recently thought of puttng vit D3 on it since i had some…It took the itching away immidiatly..and in about an hour the redness had gone down.. i’m two hours in now and i just applied a bit more to it about 15 minutes ago, i’m only using a small dosage of 1000 IU’s but it seems to be helping alot, i’m glad i thought of using it and looking it up online to end up readng this forum. cuz reading about the D3 helping others is giving me hope. :) Thanks guys and good luck to you all!

  3. Ben says

    My 13 year old son has suffered from eczema since birth. He swims competively so chlorine aggravation is a further complication. We get little sunlight in winter -or summer ! – in Dunedin NZ. over the last year my son has needed constant cortisone, antibiotics and assorted “lotions and potions”. Two months ago our local pharmacist took one look at my son and recommended Vit D3 1000u per day and Vit B complex. Within days his eczema cleared up. Two months later despite the high stress of National swimming Champs his eczema has not returned. To me this is near miraculous !! can’t say for sure whether the B or D is the silver bullet but he has changed to a relaxed confident and powerful young man with no eczema!

  4. Lisa says

    I stumbled upon this site by accident & I want to thank everyone for your contributions. I am 50 years old and have suffered from eczema all of my life. As I near menopause it seems more intense. I live in Ohio where lack of sun and uv plays havoc with my skin each year. Like many of you, I have boxes and boxes FULL of creams, lotions, steroids and other ‘potions’ both prescription and over the counter. I’ve tried every remedy known including the eladel and pro topic, both of which burned so bad it was worse than the regular itching & redness I was trying to treat.

    After reading about the vitamin D3 conversations, I called my primary care physician and asked him A) if I could take this and 2) what dosage. He said to get 2000 IUs, so I dashed to Walgreens and bought the gel caps of their brand. (It was simply the best value–I read labels and all manufacturer’s ingredients were similar). I took one upon returning home and out of curiosity, I poked one open and put the contents right on the irritated areas on my face. It has only been about 4 hours and 50% of the redness is gone. The skin still feels ‘tight’ but I am excited about any small healing that occurs. I will give this an honest chance as I don’t expect miracles overnight.

    I am a fitness enthusiast and watch my diet carefully. I ordered some products off of b/c I am hyper sensitive to shampoos, etc. I use their shampoo, conditioner and body wash…they have no parabens, fragrances, colors, etc. As odd as this sounds, I had an adverse reaction to their body lotion, which is mild enough for infants. When I go to the salon to get my hair colored, I take this shampoo & conditioner with me…trying to avoid as many products as possible. Anyhow, they have a simple, “doesn’t work, then return it” refund policy, no questions asked. (I am a teacher, I do not work for eczederm). My co-worker tried soap from that was featured in Oprah Magazine and had super relief in a week. They sent me some samples for $1 each, but it didn’t help.

    So as we all struggle with ‘the beast’ we call eczema, I wish you all the best in your quests for relief.

    Best regards,

    • lisa waite says

      Me again….

      I am probably THE biggest sceptic when it comes to managing eczema b/c I have tried it ALL.
      Prescriptions, over-the-counter products, expensive department store products, home remedies, mild sun exposure in winter via tanning, Avon, MaryKay, etc. Nothing but a steroid injection ever helped then my skin would rebound and the ‘whiplash’ effect was even worse. I am 48 hours into the vitamin D3 and I am very very pleased with the healing and success. My face, neck, and ears are 90% better. I will continue to use it (2000 IUs) as a daily supplement and to dab directly on the skin. My mood and spirit are also lifted as I felt so disfigured with the redness. My good wishes to others who suffer that similar relief comes to you from whatever you use. Best– Lisa

  5. Zoe says

    I’m going to give the D3 a try as I’m running out of other options for this eczema that is covering pretty much all of me and making my life a misery. Are any of you in the UK? If so, would you tell me what brand you take, how much and where you get it from please? Thanks very much.

    • Hanne says

      I am in UK. I use the brand Healthy Origins D3 10,000 IU. You get them from or Ebay.
      They are great and relatively cheap (around £25 for 360 capsules). Just puncture the capsules and put directly on the skin as well as taking them orally.

  6. John Truth says

    Have have a sister and nephew who have Eczema. After doing some research (check the West Price Foundation) I have discovered that Vitamins A, D3, K2 work in concert. From the anecdotes on this site many people have obtained relief from D3 or D3 and A. My comment is to note that adding K2 will enhance the benefits of this supplementation.
    K2 is linked to activating the proteins that A, and D direct the production of. It also makes sure that calcium ends up where it should (bones, teeth, etc) and away from places where it should not (arteries, eyes). It is deficient in the modern diet as bone marrow, pig and chicken feet, natto, and goose liver do not feature in most people’s diet.

    It is found in hard cheeses, but us sensitive to processing and heat, so pizzas and cheese strings are not the best sources.

    So if you are taking vitamins A and D, don’t forget K.

    Weston Price claims to have cured a child with 42 cavities in 24 teeth inside 9 months with Calicum rich raw milk, and Vitamin A,D,K supplements. Complete regeneration of Dentene and re-mineralisation of the teeth.

  7. Genevieve says

    So is it Vitamin D that helps or D3? I am confused?? Is it the same?? I have had recently this past month where my Eczema has gotten to be the worst it has ever been on my hands. Plus having a yeast infection/ candida on top of it that has not gone away. I am trying diet change and a natural approach to that ( The Candida Diet is the hardest to do!!!). But I wondered if my Vit D deficiency plays a role in my candida issue and my Eczema. it could be stress as well, I recently went back to work part-time since being home with my son for a year and a half so of course some anxiety goes along with that. But I am not convinced its only stress/anxiety that is causing my Eczema to flare up. My doctor has me on 50,000IU of Vit D for 3 weeks then to back down to once a week for not sure how long. I live in the NW so we get so little sun in the Fall Winter its sad. Seasonal Depression is rampant here. Thats probably linked to Vit D deficiency too. HA:). How soon should I see results in my hands, taking this high of a dose?

    • Hanne says

      vitamin D3 is great for skin. I simply puncture the capsules (olive oil and Vit D3, clinical strenght 10,000 IU per capsule) and spread it directly onto my skin. So far my stubborn psoriasis has gone and not returned. My feet look like a baby’s. Almost all the dry and hard skin disappeared too. D3 seems to heal any sore bit of skin.

  8. Nichole says

    I have dishidrotic eczema on my hands only, been suffering with it for about 11 months. I work in a doc. office and my hands (bilat) look so bad I wear gloves half the time b/c it raises questions that one may find interesting I find very embarrassing. I am so very anxious for my last 1/2 hour to end so I can head to Walgreens to see if this D3 really works. Like it was stated b4 I HAVE NOTHING TO LOOSE, I have had this condition for so long, Its like it definds me. I often get the comment of ” Monster Hand” or someone reinacting the Scary Movie scene of the “Crazy/Strong Hand” mixing the mashed potatoes.. I will put this name to rest once and forall. I will keep you all updated once I get results.

  9. Neil-Walking Clinical Trial says

    Good for you, Suzanne! Many people are being cured of this debilitating condition with Vitamin D 3 and I am one of those. I see another person on this blog (who claims to be a doctor) lends little credibility to the testimonials of those of us who have experienced a documented cure of our dermatitis through the use of D3. My physician was a naysayer as well– oh, well— at least I know what D3 has done in my life. Congratulations, Suzanne!

  10. Wesley says

    As a doctor, I think that vitamin D is incredibly important for skin health and immune function. However, in eczema, sometimes there are other factors that need to be considered such as diet and environment. Vitamin D is only part of the solution.

    • Suzanne says

      For the past three years, I have suffered terribly from chronic dermatitis. I have tried everything, from soaking, to prednisone (a temporary fix), to clobetasol to Orlux-E. Just recently I had blood work in anticipation of an annual physical. My PCP told me that my Vitamin D level was low and prescribed 50,000 units for 8 weeks and then a reduced amount thereafter. I am into my second week of taking vitamin D (1 per week) and my chronic dermatitis has nearly disappeared on my hands and feet. It is truly unbelievable to me – my hands appear nearly normal and for the past two weeks, I have had no itching and scratching during the night (until my hands nearly bled) or cracked and peeling skin on my hands and feet. If I continue on this path, I will feel certain that the Vitamin D deficiency was more than a contributing cause. Right now, I feel amazing.

  11. Bec says

    I suffer from eczema really bad on my fingers and hands with the little blisters and then they peel and crack. I have been trying all sorts of things.
    Today I got some Vitamin D3 so I am going to give it a go. I am going to take a big amount and see if it helps.
    Terri, Just go out and try it! it cannot make things any worse can it? Just make sure you get a liquid or drops.

  12. we enter says

    Sara, my eczema was related to High Fructose Corn Syrup, corn and corn derivatives. I have also been trying to get more sun too. The best thing to do is an allergy elimination diet.

  13. Terri says

    I appreciate everyone posting this information. I have been suffering from eczema (dyshidrosis) on my hands for over a year. I am really curious to see if Vitamin D will clear it up by stopping the small blisters from forming under the skin.

  14. Darnell Holmes says

    I have severe eczeme all my life (30yrs)… I use the topical ointments, avoid stress, good diet (no preservative and dairy), and take a weekly laxative. I am a black american and I go to tanning salon bc my dermatologist told me Vit D is good for eczema and hiding the marks. My skin feels good so I believe the Vit D capsuals are also helpful. Hope my regimen is helpful.

  15. Kim says

    I have an 11 year old with severe eczema!! How much Vitamin d should I be giving her? I started her with 1000UI a day! Is that enough?

  16. vincent says

    I take 2,000 UI of vitamine D with every meal I have (6,000 UI a day), its works better to control my nasal inflamation and my skin eczema then cortizone that I have been taking for years… I see a direct link between nasal congestion/inflamation and skin inflamation/eczema and for me it goes away so quickly right after I take vitamine D its amazing…

    I aint no vitamine D seller or anything so just do your own research, but for me it only cost like 5$ for a bottle so if you have eczema/chronique nasal congestion I personaly think its a great and cheap way that you can try to get rid of it.

    I also have chronic shoulder pain, and I feel like the pains is also about 90% less… been taking it for about 2 weeks now and I had this pain for over 10 years and nothing worked befor…

  17. Hanne says

    I just found this site and felt compelled to write my story. I have suffered from arthritis and psoriasis (linked) for more than 20 years. I started taking D3 capsules (20000 IU per day). I know the dose is high, but research now shows that the toxic level is around 40000 IU per day. After only a couple of days my life changed. The pain and stiffness in my joints disappeared and I could run! The psoriasis is now almost cleared (started taking D3 in March). I also puncture the capsules and use them on my skin.
    My backpain is gone and so has my dry skin. I had no sunburn this summer, no sun eczema I have not made any other changes to my diet.I will keep on taking D3 forever.

    • Hanne says

      Just an update. Over a year has passed since I wrote this. I am still clear of psoriasis. My arthritis is still kept at bay and I coach gymnastics. I can even squat (knees used to be terrible). What a change from crutches and wheelchair. Life is good.

  18. Neil - The Walking Clinical Trial says

    Hello! I am a walking clinical trial for Vitamin D use in the treatment of eczema. My mother had a severe case of eczema (scalp, feet, etc.) and I was unfortunate enough to have this passed on to me. I had to take painful allergy injections as a child. I had eczema on my forearms and feet to where it was scaly and red (very painful and itchy). As I aged, most of the issues faded away. However, later in life (I’m in my 40’s) I developed eczema on my left hand along with nasal allergies. I tried drinking a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar per day and it certainly helped, but was not a cure. THEN…..GET READY….I had a friend that told me how much better he felt (energy, etc) bt taking Vitamin D supplements. I bought a bottle of Walgreens Vitamin D3 (1000 i.u.) and began taking it daily. (BTW, I also take a men’s multi-vitamin along with a vitamin B complex supplement as well). NOTE: I had already been taking a Men’s multi-vitamin formula along with a B complex prior to my vitamin D3 trial, with no improvement in my eczema. Once I started taking the Vitamin D3, I noticed a very fast and obvious recession in my dermatitis. In fact, I was no longer drinking unfiltered apple cider vinegar, so I thought the improvement was just a fluke. Well, as I continued to take a daily dose of Vitamin D3, I continued to notice significant improvement in my eczema. Thus far, I have been taking Walgreen’s Vitamin D3 (1000 i.u.) @ 3 gel caplets per day and I have a COMPLETE REMISSION of my eczema (contact dermatitis). My hand is completely healed with no signs that the eczema was ever present on my skin. Again, I am a walking clinical trial and a success story. I hope this post helps thousands of eczema sufferers and I wish a speedy recovery for all from this debilitating ailment. Believe the research that states Vitamin D can treat or heal eczema…it can! I hope you have the same results that I did. Please respond and let me know if Vitamin D helped you! Cheers!

  19. nunya says

    Hi I have 1 foot that gets eczema really bad, but only in winter!, so I watched Dr holicks show on during winter we make no vitamin D at all, which is why we have flu season, people get sick in winter cause they have no Vitamin D, its a very essential vitamin, as when your immune system detects tuberculosis it activates the 25(Oh)d 3 hormone to kill it THATS RIGHT THE 25(OH)D3 HORMONE KILLS TUBERCULOSIS, so I started supplementing with 1000 IU during our winter, it is almost over now the sun is starting to rise in the middle of the sky, longer days, so I will keep 1000iu and get checked in 2 months. also I rubbed it on my affected foot seems to help will see soon enough

  20. Jennifer says

    I’ve suffered from mild eczema on my legs for years now. The only thing that has ever 100% cleared it up is visiting a tanning bed twice a week for about 10 minutes each time, for a max of four weeks…no problems at all after that. This leads me to believe that my eczema is somehow related to a lack of vitamin D, or maybe something that helps it break down in my body. The next time I have an outbreak I’m going to up my vitamin D consumption (through foods & supplements) and see if it helps – but for me, there is definitely some correlation between UV exposure/vitamin D production and my eczema.

  21. Kurt says

    I believe Vit D3 should help not only eczema sufferers, but a number of other inflammatory illnesses. I am not a doctor. However, let me tell you about some interesting things I have learned recently (much you may already know and some that you may not have thought of). Follow my logic and let me know if you think I’m onto something or just an extreme optimist.

    Vit D’s main functions as set forth by the National Institute of Health

    “1. it is essential for promoting calcium absorbtion int he gut and maintaining serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization.

    2. modulation of neuromuscular AND IMMUNE FUNCTION; AND REDUCTION OF INFLAMMATION”

    Since eczema is an inflammatory disease of the skin, Vit D should help.

    Many of us are aware that the FDA significantly increased the daily recommended dose of Vit D in the past couple years from 100’s mg to 1000+mg.
    Many doctors are recommended 2000 to 5000mgs per day.

    I don’t know what study forced the FDA’s change, but I had an interesting conversation with my doctor the other day about all those ranges that you see when you get a routing blood test. You know the ones. Where your result is listed followed by some range. If you fall within the range, everything is SUPPOSED to be fine. If not, it is flagged as low or high.

    Well, it turns out that each lab that analyses your blood sets its own range.
    Worse yet, the range is fluid and is likely based on the average samples of blood tests results of all persons done over the last 8 months, or some other arbitrary period of time.
    Worst of all, according to my doctor, as the American public becomes less healthy over the years, these ranges for some items can get way out of line as they are continually adjusted downward. In his words, if we compared today’s TSH thyroid results against the acceptable range of 40 years ago, almost everyone would be out of range on the low side. I suspect this could have happened with Vit D levels.

    Now, back to eczema and other inflammatory diseases.
    I warn you, this is where I might be stretching it but I think it is a logical jump. There has been a vast increase in asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Both have inflammatory components. People are spending less time outside getting natural vitamin d from the sun and eating less healthy vitamin containing foods. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a simple Vit D supplement helped ease or eliminated these symptoms.

    I’m not saying that Vit D is a cure-all. It will be interesting to see if my family’s eczema and asthma will benefit from large doses of Vit D supplements. My father-in-law who has had trouble with autoimmune diseases like gout and rheumatoid arthritis and other unexplained painful swellings, is too old fashioned to question his doctors decision to just treat the symptoms with meds like prednisone. Doubt he has even had his Vit D checked. Its even less likely his doctor would even think to try something simple before prescribing the medical community norm.

    Best advise is to try the simple things first. If you don’t feel well, research your symptoms and possible treatments. Become as knowledgeable about your illness as possible and don’t blindly accept your doctor’s propensity to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying cause. Otherwise, you’ll end up supporting the drug companies and the doctors who are pressured to sell you their newest and more expensive meds. But that is a whole other topic for another time.

    Good luck to all of us.

  22. Mukto says

    Hi Jay,

    I am curious to find out how much Vit D 3 you have been taken and for how long before your eczema cleared up.

    Thanks, Mukto

  23. Jay says

    The vitamin D3 is the missing link with eczema. You have to ingest it because it is not effective when used topically and should be combined with a good multi vitamin for maximum efficiency. I weigh 150 lbs and suffered from eczema for 15 years while trying every single diet, steroid, drug, etc until the study recently published that showed the cellular interaction and processing of D3 (not plain D or D2) in the skin cells, which demonstrated that almost ALL eczema patients lacked this vitamin. Diet and nutrition still play a vital role, but getting sun is not enough and your body needs a supply of D3 at all times. You don’t need a doctor to try it yourself, Walgreens carries a liquid D3 supplement that I highly recommend as it has completely gotten rid of my eczema from my hands, feet, scalp and groin. It’s from a company called Wellesse I think and costs about $6. Since it’s a liquid, it is easily absorbed unlike most other vitamins. I also suffered from digestive troubles which seem to have also gotten better as a result of this small change by taking the D3 along with a good multi vitamin. I felt compelled to come on here and comment in case other sufferers are looking for proof that it works since the doctors and drug companies usually just want your money. This is 10000% real… For less than $10, what do you stand to lose? It worked for me and my kids, so it should work for you too.

    • liet says

      I hate when people think they’re experts and post false info without any valid reference. Topical vitamin too can D can help many of us.

      “A team of scientists at Boston University School of Medicine, led by Michael F. Holick, investigated this inhibition further and reasoned that it could be used for the treatment of psoriasis. .Initial experiments by Holick and coworkers with vitamin D hormone have shown that topical applications of the hormone are remarkably effective. After two months, the lesions of 96.5 percent of the patients treated with a topical calcitriol (vitamin D hormone) preparation had improved with no noticeable side effects, as compared with 15.5 percent of the controls treated with petroleum alone. In 1994 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a vitamin D–based topical treatment for psoriasis, called calcipotriol.”

  24. Forrest says

    My 10 year old suffers from this. One thing that seems to be working, at least keeping it under control, is true cinnamon in capsule form. It is a known anti-inflammatory agent.
    For prescription help, we use Derma Smooth for the skin, not scalp.
    Also, I recommend Silver Magic cream. It helps without the sting.

    • Pappy Yokum says

      Vitamin D is safe. Look on line for actual cases of people overdosing on vitamin D3. They are hard to find. There are a couple of cases of people consuming huge doses accidentally – the manufacturer mis-measured the amount that went into their product, but these people recovered. There may have been some cases of little babies being given way too much via drops. I only recall seeing one reported case of someone being killed by taking too much vitamin D. We are talking millions of IUs. Doctors routinely prescribe fifty thousand or one hundred thousand IU single doses of vitamin D for adults. Human skin exposed to sunlight will produce twenty thousand IUs in under half an hour. Then it stops.
      Vitamin D is safe like water is safe. Drinking too much water can kill a person too. The amount that can help is way below the amount that can harm. Taking too little is no help at all – like drinking an eyedropper of water to cure sever dehydration. Don’t fear the D.

  25. HenriettaHughes says

    Sara- I know this comment is long after yours, but if you are still following it, I started supplementing with Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 5 days ago and my scalp eczema that I’ve had for nearly 20 years is starting to clear up. If you live north of Georgia, and/or don’t get at least 20 minutes of midday sun over 60-80 % of your body, chances are your D is low. Have your 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D level checked (25 (OH) Vitamin D, NOT the 1,25 variation). Also, if you don’t get much D in your diet, coupled with lack of sun, it is probably low. From what I have read, an optimal 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D level is 50-70ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter)

    I started supplementing before I even have my results. From what I have read through the Vitamin D council and a group called who is running a massive Vitamin D study, maintenance levels can be as high as 1000IU per 30 pounds of body . This may not be enough to pull you out of a severe Vitamin D deficiency, this may well be what your body USES every day. But check with your doctor to determine a level that is safe and appropriate for you to supplement with.

    Best of luck to you, Sara. I know ECZEMA SUCKS. Hopefully if your levels are low, supplementary D can help you clear up your eczema.

    • Pappy Yokum says

      It is vitamin A. Which I find interesting. We put A&D ointment on the kid’s bottoms when they were babies. Vitamin A is supposed to be good for the skin. What is surprising is all of these spontaneous vitamin D testimonials in reply to this article.
      Vitamin A and vitamin D use some of the same cellular receptors. In fact, those who advocate supplementing with vitamin D advise avoiding vitamin A because it interferes with the vitamin D. Cod liver oil is high in vitamin D, but it also has high amounts of vitamin A.
      People always ask how much to take. There is no one size fits all dose. If you can’t spend time in the sun between 10 and 2 in summer, supplement, because that is how the body makes it – through skin exposure to UV-B rays. A friend of mine who I turned on to vitamin D after coming out of the hospital with congestive heart failure takes 35 IUs/lb of body per day and swears by it. My guess is he takes around 7000IUs/day. I take 5000IUs per day in spring and summer and 10000IUs per day in fall and winter. I have been doing that for three years. It has not poisoned me. I started taking it to prevent colds and flu. I have noticed other benefits: morning joint pain in my fingers has disappeared; less dry skin/dandruff.
      What you should be after is to raise your blood levels up to the point the symptoms disappear. So, start out with a high dose around 10000 or 15000IUs per day until the eczema disappears, then cut back to 4000IUs per day and see if it reappears. That is a safe supplementation level for anyone except a small child. If it is a child who is taking it, use the 35IUs per pound as a rule of thumb to determine the amount to take.
      You might try taking some magnesium too. Vitamin D uses that mineral to function.

  26. Teeth Whitening Buys says

    I don’t know about Vitamin D helping eczema, I do know that eczema seems to be related to anxiety, at least in my family. When the stress levels go up. I’ve noticed eczema gets worse. I also believe it is related to food allergies. Preservatives, in particular, seem to make eczema worse. It is worth looking closely into what you’re eating to see if anything in your diet is a problem.

    • Mike says

      I have linked my Eczema to White Flour and High Fructose Corn syrup. I performed an elimination diet due to heath issues I was having and my Eczema cleared up. Once I started adding products made with white flour my Eczema reoccurrs within hours. I also discovered that Vit D3 helps tremendously with my Eczema and other inflammation issues.

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