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Nicotinamide for acne

  Nicotinamide, available in topical cream, gel and oral forms (e.g. trade name Nicomide), has been shown to be effective in clearing acne. In a controlled clinical trial, 4% nicotinamide gel was found to be as effective as the topical antibiotic 1% clindamycin gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris in 76 patients with moderate acne. The study concluded that the anti-inflammatory properties of nicotinamide may have contributed towards its success in acne.

  Nicotinamide also reduces facial sebum production. Sebum is responsible for facial shine and contributes to noninflamed comedones and inflammatory acne lesions. Results of a well-controlled clinical trial in Caucasian and Japanese women have shown that application of 2% nicotinamide moisturiser to the face for 4-6 weeks reduces sebum production with significant differences in facial shine and oiliness.

  Nicotinamide gel is marketed as an over-the-counter treatment for acne in Canada, Australia, NZ, UK, USA and Ireland. If twice daily application causes excessive drying of the skin, one may reduce to one application a day, or every other day.

  Nicotinamide is not recommended for acne in pregnant and nursing women.