Niacinamide (B3) & Solar Keratosis

  • Best ResultsOn going
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsOngoing
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Niacinamide (B3) & Solar Keratosis

Niacinamide or nicotinamide has been shown to reduce the incidence of solar keratosis as well as some forms of skin cancer, namely basal & squamous cell cancer. Oral supplementation with 500 mg of vitamin B3 twice a day is the recommended dosage. The effects can be seen as early as 2 months.

FactsFacts on Nicotinamide B3 & Solar Keratosis

  • Oral niacinamide/nicotinamide is more effective than topical niacinamide
  • Vitamin B3 can reduce solar keratosis by over one third the baseline
  • BCCs, superficially subtypes are reduced by over 20%
  • Squamous cell cancers can be reduced by 30%
  • B3 works better in high risk patients, including immune suppressed
  • It may be possible that B3 can reduce melanoma rates, yet to be determined
  • Oral nicotinamide is part of the Cancer Council’s recommendations for skin cancer prophylaxis

What does vitamin B3 do for skin health?

Vitamin A, B and C are the building blocks of any skincare routine. Vitamin B3 is known as niacinamide or nicotinamide. This water soluble vitamin has the following properties-

  • Anti-inflammatory, reducing UV induced proinflammatory cytokines.
  • Reduces UV induced immune suppression.
  • Enhances repair of UV induced DNA damage.
  • Replenishes cellular energy due to UV radiation.
  • Broad base of nose means nose shaping with dermal fillers.
  • Lip ratio different in Asian & ethnics, means different volume of upper vs lower lip (1 to 1 ratio)

Vitamin B3 also reduces water loss, enhancing skin barrier function. B3 also reduces pigmentation as it downregulates transfer of pigment to skin cells.

Does vitamin B3 reduce the incidence of solar keratosis?

Yes, oral supplementation with 500 mg vitamin B3 taken twice a day markedly reduces the numbers of solar keratosis (actinic keratosis). This ground-breaking study was conducted in Brisbane & published nearly a decade ago. Oral vitamin B can reduce the incidence of solar keratosis by as much as 35%

Does niacinamide reduce skin cancer risks?

Yes. Niacinamide 500 mg twice a day can reduce the risks of non-melanoma skin cancers by 23%. To be specific-

  • BCCs, superficial BCCs showed a reduction of 20% at 12 months.
  • SCCs, both superficial & deep, were reduced by 30%.

Supplementation works best in higher risk individuals– those who have had multiple skin cancers &/or immunosuppressed (transplant patients).

Does Vitamin B3 / Niacinamide reduce melanoma risks?

In theory it does, but more studies are needed. Melanoma, much like other skin cancers & solar keratosis share the same pathology, namely UV induced immune suppression. Supplementation with 500 mg niacinamide twice daily seems sensible. If you would like to be involved in a trial, speak to your dermatologist.

Davin’s viewpoint on niacinamide- nicotinamide supplementation & sunspots

The work of Australian dermatologists Professor Diona Damien & my colleague Dr Devita Surjam has made a massive contribution to the prevention of skin cancers. Simple supplementation can reduce both solar keratosis as well as skin cancers including basal & squamous cell cancers. As yet, the impact of niacinamide supplementation on melanoma rates are unknown, however there are trails throughout the world.

Oral supplementation with 500mg twice daily is recommended, topical niacinamide is less effective in the context of skin cancers, however can benefit other aspects of UV induced skin changes including inflammation, rosacea, actinic or sun induced redness & potentially reduce inflammation from solar keratosis or even lichenoid keratosis. Simple vitamins & sunscreen can potentially reduce sun spots by up to & beyond 35%. Compare this to actinic keratosis directed treatments like Solaraze or diclofenac gel with a resolution rate of approximately 25% & you can understand how clinically relevant this is.

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