Niacinamide is a B vitamin, which may be used internally or topically for dermatalogical issues. Topically, it has an anti-inflammatory property and improves skin dryness by improving the function of the outermost layer of the skin. Below you will find detailed descriptions of its uses for Acne vulgaris, Seborreic dermatitis, and Melasma. It has also been used to reverse some signs of aging, due to exposure to light.
In a double-blind study of patients with inflammatory acne, 76 patients were randomly assigned a gel containing either 4% niacinamide or 1% clindamycin. The gel was applied twice a day for 8 weeks. Where 69% of the clindamycin group saw improvements, 82% of the niacinamide group had marked improvements. The only adverse reactions were mild stinging and this appeared to be due to the gel base, rather than the medication itself. Another study with slightly differing percentages of the two medications showed similar results.
A study was conducted using 39 patients with Seborreic dermatitis (stubborn dry, itchy scalp issue usually with blotches of red and persistent dandruff) of moderate severity. The patients (20-50 years) were randomly assigned a 4% niacinamide cream or a placebo once a day for 12 weeks. Erythema (reddening of the skin, usually in patches), scaling (dry, cracked, or flaky skin), and infiltration (of foreign substances into the skin—this especially occurs when the skin is dry or damaged). The mean improvement for all the metrics were significantly improved, as compared to the placebo group. Two patients did, however, report a mild burning sensation and itching, as opposed to none in the placebo group.
In a double-blind study with 27 women with Melasma, they were randomly assigned to apply a 4% niacinamide cream to one side and a 4% hydroquinone cream to the other for 8 weeks. Improvements of 62-70% were seen in both sides of the face. However, niacinamide cream reduced mast cell infiltration (which produce inflammation) and improved solar elastosis (thickened yellowed skin due to sun exposure).
In a double-blind study fifty women (aged 35-60 years) who had facial photo-aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, poor skin texture, and hyperpigmentation spots, were randomly assigned to apply 5% niacinamide in an oil-and-water base on one side of the face and just the base on the other twice a day for 12 weeks. Images and measurements were taken at baseline and each subsequent 4 week mark. Compared with just the base, the niacinamide solution showed significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation spots, red blotchiness, and sallowness (yellowing), as well as significant improvements in skin elasticity.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.