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Why does biotin cause acne?

vitamin vitamins vitamin b vitamin b5 biotin candida

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#1 Lizbeth76

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 07:40 PM

Hi there,
I've just started taking high dose of biotin (5mg) as part of a anti-candida regime and due to signs of deficiency (eg seborrheic dermatitis) and all these reports of biotin causing ppl to break out are freaking me out. So I thought right, all I need to do is work out why biotin causes acne and I can address that.

The closest information I can find (other than someone on this forum saying the reason accutane works is because it depresses biotin, which doesn't help me at all!) is that biotin and vitamin B5 are structually similar and compete with each other for absorption in the gut. Hence, high dose biotin causes low B5 which we know causes acne.

Does anyone else have any alternative explanations?

I've been taking biotin at night and a b complex with brekkie to make sure I get all of them. My skin is reasonably good right now due to herbs, my skin care and addressing the candida but I have had a couple of cysts in the last week (pre-menstrual). Maybe I need to megadose with b5 too (man all these vitamins!!)
Thanks biggrin.gif


#2 AutonomousOne1980

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:12 PM

it doesnt


#3 Onetwo

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:41 AM

Yes it does, many people have noted this including myself. Seems to make my face more oily. No actual document that I know of says it causes acne, but just search google for biotin and oily skin, you will note thousands of people saying their skin became oily and they broke out. I just researched this in depth 2 months ago and noticed it myself whenever i took high amounts of biotin.

#4 wibble

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:38 AM

QUOTE (Onetwo @ Jul 1 2010, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes it does, many people have noted this including myself. Seems to make my face more oily. No actual document that I know of says it causes acne, but just search google for biotin and oily skin, you will note thousands of people saying their skin became oily and they broke out. I just researched this in depth 2 months ago and noticed it myself whenever i took high amounts of biotin.


Yes it does (for me). Biotin has prevented certainly the sebum reducing aspect of both Accutane and B5 when I have tried them in the past. When I was on accutane I tried adding more vitamins in to compensate. I added a large dose of Biotin and 2 days later the sebum (previously 99% stopped by Accutane) returned in full force. I stopped taking it, and all returned to the way it was.

There are lots of reports of people taking large doses of Biotin for their hair and ending up with cystic acne (the same type I had for many years).

Its a long time since I've looked into it, but I think as mentioned there are a few common factors. I think Biotin and Pantothenic acid can both be created internally in the gut, and can compete in some way. I had wondered with having a lot of Pantothenic Acid reduced the amount of Biotin, which is why also some peoples hair was affected on B5. Just guesswork though.

How it affected the sebum reduced from Accutane though is the interesting one that I never got to the bottom of.

Raw egg whites (avadin) also bind to Biotin iirc, which I think is why egg whites can be beneficial to very oily and acne skin (from reading anecdotal evidence)

Biotin I personally think is one of the most significant yet underinvestigated aspects of cystic acne imo.

I don't think the quantities most people talk about would have too much influence though, more thos who take the high doses.

Edited by wibble, 03 July 2010 - 03:41 AM.


#5 Isaac Lee

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:35 PM

BUMP.
I would like to know this too.
Also, Lizabeth, how did it go??
Did you stay on the Biotin and if you did, any acne effects?

#6 greentiger87

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:20 PM

http://content.karge...ArtikelNr=29843

Interesting, but puzzling study. The authors were trying to see if Accutane was reducing the activity / level of biotinidase, the enzyme that recycles biotin and extracts it from food and the byproducts of intestinal flora. They loosely hypothesize that this might account for some of the skin-disorder side effects of Accutane, like balding and dermatitis.

They found that the level of biotinidase activity had decreased, but the level of other liver enzymes were elevated as is normally expected. Strangely, the actual levels of biotin in the plasma hadn't significantly changed.

No clue what this means. The safety studies on large doses of biotin have always come up empty - no side effects at all. However, many of the studies were based on infants with metabolic disorders, who obviously wouldn't have an issue with acne. You'd think other kinds of side effects would show up though, if high doses of biotin were changing body chemistry. There's lots of anecdotal evidence on the internet, but at the same time biotin is recommended as part of acne treatment in countless scientific studies. Perhaps only a select percent of people are vulnerable to this side-effect.

#7 OmegaisJaded

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:34 PM

This is very curious. My multivitamin(my "just in case" measure,don't lecture me)has 30 mcg,or 10% DV, of Biotin. I am unsure of how much biotin I get from diet.

Finding a multivitamin sans biotin wouldn't inconvenience me any if there was a for sure chance that amount would be at all harmful...

#8 greentiger87

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (OmegaisJaded @ Jan 16 2011, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is very curious. My multivitamin(my "just in case" measure,don't lecture me)has 30 mcg,or 10% DV, of Biotin. I am unsure of how much biotin I get from diet.

Finding a multivitamin sans biotin wouldn't inconvenience me any if there was a for sure chance that amount would be at all harmful...


Most people get more than enough from their friendly neighborhood intestinal bacteria biggrin.gif Actual biotin deficiency is pretty rare, usually due to metabolic disorders that destroy or don't process the biotin correctly. It's in almost every food, in small amounts.

Edited by greentiger87, 16 January 2011 - 04:54 PM.


#9 panda16

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:39 AM

If you have skin problems DO NOT TAKE B COMPLEX OR BIOTIN. I had some mild hormonal breakouts, so I started birth control to help keep breakouts at bay but they made me depressed so I heard that B complex can help with hormonal depression and moodswings. After about a week of taking the b-complex my entire chin was a huge mess of red cystic bumps and I get new bumps daily that take forever to go away and leave scars. and I didn't realize it was the b so I continued taking it for a month, then started reading that biotin can cause cystic acne. I wound up with worse skin than before I started the b/c because of that terrible biotin. I stopped taking the b 2 days ago and am waiting to see if it starts clearing....anyone know how long it might take to clear out of my system?

#10 wibble

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:14 PM

QUOTE (panda16 @ Feb 2 2011, 04:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you have skin problems DO NOT TAKE B COMPLEX OR BIOTIN. I had some mild hormonal breakouts, so I started birth control to help keep breakouts at bay but they made me depressed so I heard that B complex can help with hormonal depression and moodswings. After about a week of taking the b-complex my entire chin was a huge mess of red cystic bumps and I get new bumps daily that take forever to go away and leave scars. and I didn't realize it was the b so I continued taking it for a month, then started reading that biotin can cause cystic acne. I wound up with worse skin than before I started the b/c because of that terrible biotin. I stopped taking the b 2 days ago and am waiting to see if it starts clearing....anyone know how long it might take to clear out of my system?


For me it was quick (days rather than weeks). Let us know how you get on.

#11 Guest_Timehealsall_*

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (Lizbeth76 @ Jun 8 2010, 08:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there,
I've just started taking high dose of biotin (5mg) as part of a anti-candida regime and due to signs of deficiency (eg seborrheic dermatitis) and all these reports of biotin causing ppl to break out are freaking me out. So I thought right, all I need to do is work out why biotin causes acne and I can address that.

The closest information I can find (other than someone on this forum saying the reason accutane works is because it depresses biotin, which doesn't help me at all!) is that biotin and vitamin B5 are structually similar and compete with each other for absorption in the gut. Hence, high dose biotin causes low B5 which we know causes acne.

Does anyone else have any alternative explanations?

I've been taking biotin at night and a b complex with brekkie to make sure I get all of them. My skin is reasonably good right now due to herbs, my skin care and addressing the candida but I have had a couple of cysts in the last week (pre-menstrual). Maybe I need to megadose with b5 too (man all these vitamins!!)
Thanks biggrin.gif


i have seborrheic dermatitis as well.

Do you think SD and acne are related? I would not take biotin if i were you, it gave me a huge fking breakout.



#12 jhw

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE (Timehealsall @ Feb 7 2011, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Lizbeth76 @ Jun 8 2010, 08:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there,
I've just started taking high dose of biotin (5mg) as part of a anti-candida regime and due to signs of deficiency (eg seborrheic dermatitis) and all these reports of biotin causing ppl to break out are freaking me out. So I thought right, all I need to do is work out why biotin causes acne and I can address that.

The closest information I can find (other than someone on this forum saying the reason accutane works is because it depresses biotin, which doesn't help me at all!) is that biotin and vitamin B5 are structually similar and compete with each other for absorption in the gut. Hence, high dose biotin causes low B5 which we know causes acne.

Does anyone else have any alternative explanations?

I've been taking biotin at night and a b complex with brekkie to make sure I get all of them. My skin is reasonably good right now due to herbs, my skin care and addressing the candida but I have had a couple of cysts in the last week (pre-menstrual). Maybe I need to megadose with b5 too (man all these vitamins!!)
Thanks biggrin.gif


i have seborrheic dermatitis as well.

Do you think SD and acne are related? I would not take biotin if i were you, it gave me a huge fking breakout.


I have a couple of questions for anyone who may be able to help. I have recently ordered coenzyme-a clear skin image from coenzyme-a technologies, and was wondering if anyone here has taken it or knows anyone who has?

Anyway, I have taken several b5 products in the past (clear5, vilantae, skinb5, pantothen) and each of them actually made me start breaking out worse. I am not sure, but seeing what you guys here are saying, it was probably the biotin that caused the problems.

However, clear skin image seems a little different than your typical b5 product, and has a slightly different approach and a little different ingredients, although it does contain some biotin. Mainly I am wondering, if you are the type of person that biotin causes problems for (if that is even the case), is there anything you can do to offset its effects, so the product will still be able to give you good results? Something like perhaps taking a b-complex that contains no biotin?

Any info anyone can provide will be a great help.

#13 PeanutButter5

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:39 PM

Sorry jhw, I don't have any clue.

But as far as the Biotin stuff goes I'll throw in my 2 cents:

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to grow my hair long(ish). My hair dresser recommended that I take Biotin for this.

I took it very sporadically for a while, or I would take it everyday for a while and then stop for a long time, etc.

But recently in the past few months I started a whole vitamin regimen and was a lot better about taking it. I also bumped it up from 2500mcg to 5000mcg a day.

My skin has always been problematic, but Duac, Atralin and Yaz got it largely under control and it stayed that way for a couple years. The past year my skin has been significantly worse, and realllly bad the past few months.

I couldn't figure out what it was that was causing the change. I thought it might be stress associated with graduating from college and some other stuff.

But I realized last night that some people say biotin causes acne! My skin problem worsening seems to vaguely coincide with my biotin usage (hard to remember exactly). I threw my bottle away last night and am going to GNC tonight or tomorrow to get some B5.

I will update later to see how this goes.

Edited by PeanutButter5, 16 June 2011 - 04:46 PM.


#14 XC60

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:25 AM

QUOTE (PeanutButter5 @ Jun 16 2011, 05:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry jhw, I don't have any clue.

But as far as the Biotin stuff goes I'll throw in my 2 cents:

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to grow my hair long(ish). My hair dresser recommended that I take Biotin for this.

I took it very sporadically for a while, or I would take it everyday for a while and then stop for a long time, etc.

But recently in the past few months I started a whole vitamin regimen and was a lot better about taking it. I also bumped it up from 2500mcg to 5000mcg a day.

My skin has always been problematic, but Duac, Atralin and Yaz got it largely under control and it stayed that way for a couple years. The past year my skin has been significantly worse, and realllly bad the past few months.

I couldn't figure out what it was that was causing the change. I thought it might be stress associated with graduating from college and some other stuff.

But I realized last night that some people say biotin causes acne! My skin problem worsening seems to vaguely coincide with my biotin usage (hard to remember exactly). I threw my bottle away last night and am going to GNC tonight or tomorrow to get some B5.

I will update later to see how this goes.

If you didn't have favorable results with Biotin, you definitely will not be pleased with taking B5! I would rethink going to GNC, and consider taking some Vitamin D3 instead.


#15 PeanutButter5

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE (CoolGuy68 @ Jun 17 2011, 07:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (PeanutButter5 @ Jun 16 2011, 05:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry jhw, I don't have any clue.

But as far as the Biotin stuff goes I'll throw in my 2 cents:

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to grow my hair long(ish). My hair dresser recommended that I take Biotin for this.

I took it very sporadically for a while, or I would take it everyday for a while and then stop for a long time, etc.

But recently in the past few months I started a whole vitamin regimen and was a lot better about taking it. I also bumped it up from 2500mcg to 5000mcg a day.

My skin has always been problematic, but Duac, Atralin and Yaz got it largely under control and it stayed that way for a couple years. The past year my skin has been significantly worse, and realllly bad the past few months.

I couldn't figure out what it was that was causing the change. I thought it might be stress associated with graduating from college and some other stuff.

But I realized last night that some people say biotin causes acne! My skin problem worsening seems to vaguely coincide with my biotin usage (hard to remember exactly). I threw my bottle away last night and am going to GNC tonight or tomorrow to get some B5.

I will update later to see how this goes.

If you didn't have favorable results with Biotin, you definitely will not be pleased with taking B5! I would rethink going to GNC, and consider taking some Vitamin D3 instead.


Really? I thought Biotin causes acne by competing with B5 in your body and beating it so that the B5 doesn't get used? So if Biotin didn't work for me (I was never taking it for acne in the first place) then B5 might...

Although I have decided to wait a couple weeks and see what happens with just quitting the Biotin before I add in anything. I already take D3 anyway with my fish oils.

#16 PeanutButter5

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:34 AM

Update:

It has been almost a week since I threw out my Biotin supplements and my skin has cleared up significantly. No new breakouts since.

To be fair I also started using Paula's Choice 2% BHA Toner a few days ago and am rounding out the 5th week of spironolactone so it could be due to a combination of things. Still I find it encouraging and think that anyone taking a significant Biotin supplement should quit because it's incremental benefits for hair and nails (I never really noticed a difference) doesn't even begin to make up for its very possible negative effects on complexion.

#17 cocobean

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:58 AM

I hate this because I use biotin, i mean, has anyone noticed how biotin is in almost every 'hair, skin and nails' supplement out there? I have tried several of these and up to 5000mcg biotin in these pills, has never caused any problems at all for me ever... it maybe a placebo thing, some one tells you 'oh biotin causes acne...' then you freak out and say, oh thats why.
I'm not sayin its not possible, some people might react to it, but just personally for me and a friend who recommended it to me, have never had such a thing happen, thank god. For those of you who said it made you break out, i can't believe it and hate that it may have done that! That sucks because it really helps your hair and nails grow? :(
Hope it was a quick recovery for those who reacted and came off it. maybe the dose was too high for you?

#18 FSAS

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 10:07 PM

so is that why people lose hair whilst taking b5? man that sucks.. its like: choose - your face or you hair, cant have both -_-

#19 peacelilie33

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

All I can say is, I don't wear make- up or believe in putting anything to my skin if it's not necessary. But I decided to take biotin about 2weeks ago for my hair because I wanted it to grow up a little more and just stay strong, since I'm 40. Last week I started to see small bumps all over my face. I didn't think anything of it, other than perhaps it's the heat. So I asked my daughter, because she started Biotin and she told me yes it made her friend break out. So now I'm reading everyone's comments and my mind has been made. I will not return to biotin. I stopped about a week ago and there's been a slight change. I'm waiting to see if it clears completely.

#20 stephitaa

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

Most of these comments are scaring me now. I started taking a supplement for hair, skin, nails with 3000mcg of biotin today(i just took one pill it says 3x a day). ive had acne since i was 13(im 24) and i was on accutane (30mg) until may. it worked wonders and i havent had a painful bump on my face since. i want to have stronger nails and grow my hair but i dont want to risk getting cystic acne again! is there any hope out there?!!