Nicotinamide: An Update and Review of Safety & Differences From Niacin

Reed Huber, BSc; Aaron Wong, MD, FRCPC


Skin Therapy Letter. 2020;25(5):7-11. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Nicotinamide (or niacinamide), a form of vitamin B3 that is often confused with its precursor nicotinic acid (or niacin), is a low-cost, evidence-based oral treatment option for actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinomas, basal cell carcinomas, and bullous pemphigoid. Despite its favorable safety profile and affordability, the integration of nicotinamide into clinical practice is an ongoing process, and like many over-the-counter supplements it has faced some barriers. The purpose of this article is to address some of those barriers by reviewing its efficacy, safety profile, and emphasizing the difference between nicotinamide and niacin. Lastly, we offer practical guidance around recommendations and the availability of nicotinamide, which can be hard to find for patients and providers alike.