Many patients ask if taking a vitamin or supplement would be beneficial for their skin condition. Vitamins and supplements aren’t regulated in the same way as prescription medications by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can be marketed without undergoing rigorous assessment. A recent review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found overall, very few dietary supplements had been evaluated in largescale randomized clinical trials. Safety and efficacy evidence were limited.
Few adverse events were recorded for any supplement, making safety analyses difficult. In addition, the lack of standardized dosing across trials prevented any pooled statistical analyses to demonstrate benefit. While some studies support the use of nicotinamide to prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers and precancerous actinic keratoses, further studies are needed to support the use of zinc, biotin, vitamin D, and polypodium.
If you have questions about the use of supplements to treat or prevent skin conditions please schedule an appointment to speak to your dermatologist.