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Skin cancer prevention using Vitamin B3: niacinamide (also called nicotinamide)

Skin cancer is a major public health issue in the United States, and the rates of people diagnosed each year keep growing. Because of this, Dr. Stephen L. Comite at SkinProvement Dermatology New York places a great emphasis on not only diagnosing and treating skin cancer early, but also preventing it with as many strategies as possible. Aside from traditional recommendations such as sunscreen use and minimizing exposure with hats and protective clothing, research is underway about other effective skin cancer prevention methods. A recent study shows the effectiveness of taking niacinamide, a specific form of vitamin B3, twice daily to lessen the chance of having skin cancer in patients with a history of two or more skin cancers in the past five years.

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is an over the counter, inexpensive form of vitamin B3. The recommended dose for skin cancer prevention is 500 mg (milligrams) twice daily. In the study, there were no side effects, so this medication can be taken indefinitely. However, as with all medications, check with your primary care provider before starting niacinamide.

How much does it cost?

The medication is inexpensive – typically, about 300 pills can be obtained for 20 dollars, or about seven cents per pill. You do not need a prescription for it.

Do NOT purchase niacin, which is another form of vitamin B3. This will not be effective and has some nuisance side effects such as flushing.

How long does it take to start working?

After taking niacinamide, the skin cancer prevention aspect begins in about three months. Taking this medication will not prevent all skin cancers but should lessen the chance of getting them. Should you choose to stop the medication at any time, the skin cancer prevention effect will slowly fade.

Of course, as always, try to minimize sun exposure and wear sun protective clothing including UV-protective sunglasses where applicable.

Do not forget to apply daily sunscreen, and several times daily if you are having significant sun exposure or are sweating or swimming.

How do I learn more?

Dr. Stephen L. Comite at SkinProvement Dermatology New York is happy to discuss the benefits of niacinamide and any questions that you have about its use for skin cancer prevention. Do not hesitate to call us at (212) 933-9490

SKINPROVEMENT DERMATOLOGY In New York is committed to providing patients world-class treatments for skin, hair, and nails. They understand and acknowledge the diversity among all patients to treat them more efficiently using state of the art technology and decades of professional expertise.

DR. STEPHEN COMITE Is a board-certified Dermatologist with an impeccable academic background and he is valued as one of the best Dermatologists in NY due to his expert skills and his compassionate nature towards all of his patients.
| Lisa l.

Extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and experienced doctor (Dr. Comite) who was able to explain more than all the other doctors about my daughter’s acne challenges. I am excited to have found this center and believe we’ve found the answer to many of the problems we’ve encountered with skin issues. I will post again once we have experienced more treatment.

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