Skin Care With Niacinamide
Vitamin B3 consists of niacin, also called nicotinic acid, and niacinamide, also called nicotinamide. This vitamin is found in meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, green vegetables, cereal grains and yeast. Niacinamide may be useful for people with diabetes or those at risk of diabetes, and for treating osteoarthritis. It also shows benefits as a topical treatment for several skin conditions.
Niacinamide is an ingredient in some cosmetics, moisturizers, antiaging products, skin-conditioning agents, and acne and rosacea treatments. The concentration of niacinamide can be very low, explains MedlinePlus, such as .0001 percent in night creams. Body and hand creams, lotions and sprays might contain .01 percent to 3 percent niacinamide, and treatments for some skin disorders contain up to 5 percent niacinamide.
A study published in the June 1995 issue of the International Journal of Dermatology found that a 4-percent strength nicotinamide gel had better results than an antibiotic gel in treating moderate inflammatory acne over eight weeks. The antibiotic gel contained 1 percent clindamycin, a standard acne therapy. A total of 82 percent of the participants treated with nicotinamide improved, compared to 68 percent of those applying clindamycin. The study authors note the importance of this finding, since antibiotic preparations are increasingly associated with resistant bacteria.
Topical niacinamide may be beneficial for people with rosacea, a chronic facial skin condition involving redness and flushing, dryness and pimple-like bumps. Research published in Cutis in August 2005 found that a facial moisturizer containing niacinamide improved skin hydration and rosacea symptoms better than a placebo. Additionally, during a study published in the November 2005 issue of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, application of a gel containing a metabolite of nicotinamide with anti-inflammatory properties helped improve rosacea symptoms. Among participants, 26 of the 34 experienced moderate or good improvement when using the gel.
Topical niacinamide also helps improve the appearance of aging facial skin, according to research published in the July 2005 issue of Dermatologic Surgery. It decreases areas of hyperpigmentation, red blotches, fine lines and wrinkles and skin sallowness, or yellowing. Additionally, topical niacinamide improves skin elasticity.
Consuming large doses of niacinamide can cause side effects, but topical use is generally well-tolerated, according to MedlinePlus. Some individuals may experience skin irritation. Niacinamide gel could cause an allergic reaction in some people, as noted by Drugs.com.
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