Should you take Biotin when you have acne?

While Biotin has been a popular supplement in recent years for healthy hair, nails, and skin, there are no clinical studies that show that takin Biotin (essentially, vitamin B7) helps with acne. In fact, there is actually a concern that taking biotin can reduce the intestinal absorption of Vitamin B5, therefore making the skin more fragile and acne prone (uh oh).

What is Biotin?

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 belongs to the group of B vitamins. It is naturally found in egg yolks salmon, and leafy greens or taken as a food supplement in capsules.  A few small studies have suggested that it has a role in hair and nail growth, helping the hair to be longer and nails stronger.  While these effects on hair and nails are not scientifically sound, Biotin may be the cause for more acne breakouts. 

Biotin causes acne

How does Biotin cause more acne breakouts?

Both biotin (Vitamin B7) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) are absorbed from the intestines via the same receptors. Thus taking, when taking an overload of biotin, the amount of vitamin B5, that is absorbed decreases. As  Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is believed to strengthen the barrier function of the epidermis, its reduction can lead to more acne. 

Should you take Biotin when you have acne?

As a dermatologist, my recommendation is that if you do not have a vitamin B deficiency (which you can find out from a blood test ordered by your primary care physician), you should not take Biotin.  The best acne diet routines start with the adjustment to a more natural and healthy food plan … not with external supplements. Eggs, seafood, and leafy greens are not only rich in naturally-occurring biotin but are packed with many other vitamins as nutrients as well.  Thus, if you feel that biotin helps with your hair and your skin is improving with your MDacne treatment you can take biotin. 
 

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