Vitamin B and Your Skin: What Can
This Vitamin Do For You?
Vitamin B is no small time player in the high stakes game of the beauty.
Just take the case of pellagra for example. Pellagra is a life threatening
skin disease characterized by dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis that
results from a niacin (B vitamin) deficiency. In the early 20th century
in the United States pellagra plagued thousands of people in the South
and Midwest. The condition was thought to be contagious until investigators
discovered the underlying nutritional deficiency.
Dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology
at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C. is confident
that praise for the therapeutic effects of niacinamide will continue to
rise. Dr. Draelos hails, "Already, topical 4% niacinamide has been
shown to be beneficial in the treatment of papular and pustular acne in
a 4% gel, as well as the improvement of skin cancer and its anti-tumor
Even today, the importance of vitamin B is cultivating new roles in the
world of beauty. Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD forecasts topical vitamin
B and its multiple derivatives as key ingredients in future anti-aging
products. For example, one derivative of the B vitamin niacin, nicotinamide,
has been shown to improve the ability of the epidermis, the upper-most
layer of the skin, to retain moisture. One study reports that topical
nicotinamide, when applied to the skin for six days reveals softer, smoother
skin with less dryness and flakiness, and a reduction of fine lines. Even
more promising is its anti-cancer influences. For instance, when applied
to mouse skin, topical nicotinamide produced a 70 percent decrease in
ultraviolet-induced skin cancer.
Niacinamide, another byproduct of vitamin B, serves as an effective skin-lightening
agent. In one clinical investigation, patients with hyperpigmentation
applied a moisturizer containing five percent niacinamide. Four weeks
later, computer analysis of the hyperpigmentation and skin color revealed
a decrease in hyperpigmentation along with an increase in skin lightness.
Topical niacinamide also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which
makes it a potential treatment for acne, rosacea and any blistering-type
Dr. Baumann cautions that the many versions of one vitamin can be confusing
and recommends speaking with your dermatologist to ensure you are selecting
the right vitamin product for your skin care needs.
While it's comforting to place a host of cosmetic aspirations in the latest
beauty craze, Mother Nature's wisdom will never lead you astray. If you
can't wait to get the benefits of B vitamins in your beauty cream, just
go to your local market and help yourself to some chicken, tuna, potatoes,
spinach, asparagus, black beans and watermelon. These are just of few
of the foods providing bountiful servings of vitamin B. Remember, these
scores of medical insights and promises started with a nutritional deficiency.
About The Author
Naweko San-Joyz writes health and beauty articles from her home in San
Diego. She recently published "Acne Messages: Crack the code of your
zits and say goodbye to acne". To challenge and verify her research,
San-Joyz trains for figure competitions. http://www.noixia.com