Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinamide, is a supplement that is sometimes recommended in dermatology. Deficiency of niacinamide causes pellagra.
- Niacinamide (500 mg twice a day) has been shown to reduce the incidence of actinic keratoses, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
- Niacinamide is often combined with oral tetracyclines for the treatment of autoimmune bullous disorders, e.g. bullous pemphigoid.
- 3-5 cents per tablet.
- Niacinamide is not Niacin. Niacin (nicotinic acid) is converted to niacinamide in vivo. Niacinamide does not decrease cholesterol/trigycerides nor cause flushing.
Niacinamide to prevent BCC and SCC
A placebo-controlled N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 22;373(17):1618-26 of 386 patients who had been diagnosed with at least two skin cancers - such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma - in the past five years, showed that taking 500 milligrams twice daily of nicotinamide (not nicotinic acid) reduced the subsequent risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by 23% (20% less BCC, 30% SCC). When patients stopped taking the supplements, their risk of getting skin cancer rose again about six months later. There were very little to no side effects.
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