Written by, Margaret Kontras Sutton, M.D.

Researchers in Australia have discovered that oral supplementation using niacinamide, Vitamin B3,  may help in reducing the number of skin cancers in certain at risk patients.

They found that after using niacinamide for the 12 months of the study, patients developed 23% fewer nonmelanona skin cancers (basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas).  They also found that after 4 months patients developed 35% fewer premalignant growths (actinic keratoses).

Niacinamide appears to enhance the body’s ability to repair active damage in the skin which is caused by UV exposure.  What’s more the oral supplement has an excellent safety profile with very few adverse effects.  The recommended dose is 500mg by mouth twice a day.

I have already started incorporating this recommendation to my patients who have a history of multiple previous skin cancers.  Please note that this does NOT take the place of sun protective measures such as sunscreen and sun protective clothing.  More studies are necessary to see if there is a positive effect on prevention of melanoma.

Rosacea patients may also benefit from this oral supplement because UV is a common trigger for rosacea.  In fact a number of sunscreens and anti-redness creams contain niacinamide in the topical form.

For the convenience of our patients, this product called Solderm can now be purchased in our clinic or our online store.

“Nicotinamide for Skin Cancer Chemoprevention”  in the Melanoma Letter published by the Skin Cancer Foundation

 

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