Seborrheic Dermatitis and Positive Effects of topical Niacinamide

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin concern for a number of patients. In many cases, it presents itself on the scalp, but can affect other areas of the body that have higher concentrations of sebaceous (oil) glands, as well. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help to reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. However, these treatments may have unwanted scents or side effects and can require repeated office visits. Recent studies, however, are showing that topically applied niacinamide 4% significantly improves the symptoms associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Cloud’s Vitamin B3, or niacinamide cream, is a great option for an alternative to successfully treat seborrheic dermatitis.

The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not easily defined. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that, “Researchers are still studying what causes this common skin disease. From what they have learned, it appears that the cause is complex. Many factors seem to work together to cause seborrheic dermatitis. These factors may include the yeast that normally lives on our skin, our genes, living in a cold and dry climate, stress, and a person’s overall health.” The AAD goes on to outline that seborrheic dermatitis manifests itself as a rash, stating that, “When this rash appears, the skin tends to have a reddish color, a swollen and greasy appearance, and a white or yellowish crusty scale on the surface.” The rash commonly affects the scalp, but can also appear on the ears, eyebrows, center of face, eyelids, upper chest, upper back, armpits and genitals.

Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious. However, it can be uncomfortable for both physical and emotional reasons. The rash can feel itchy and is sometimes painful. When it is on visible skin, such as the face, the appearance can be very embarrassing and upsetting for patients.
A typical treatment not only for the scalp, but other areas of the body, as well, is shampoo with key ingredients. Some active ingredients that can be helpful are zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, sulfur, coal tar, selenium sulfide or ketoconazole. These shampoos have varying degrees of success, but some can have unpleasant scents. Topical corticosteroids can be helpful to reduce itching, but should not be used long-term. Some physicians recommend light therapy, like laser or LED light, but this requires frequent office visits. For severe cases, isotretinoin can be prescribed in an effort to reduce sebaceous gland activity, however, it has very serious side effects.

Topical vitamin B3, or niacinamide, is proving to have particularly positive effects on patients dealing with seborrheic dermatitis. An article titled, “Topical Nicotinamide for Seborrheic Dermatitis:  an open randomized study” outlines a study that indicated significant improvement to seborrheic dermatitis with the use of topical niacinamide cream. The study assessed erythema (redness), scaling, and infiltration. According to the article, “In comparison with baseline, a reduction of 75% of the total score was observed in patients treated with NCT (topical nicotinamide), whereas for placebo-treated patients the reduction was of 35%.” These results are exciting because not only is topical niacinamide effective in improving seborrheic dermatitis, it is also easy to apply, is affordable, has a low instance of side effects and can be used long-term.

Since seborrheic dermatitis is a concern for many patients, it is important to offer effective treatments. There are options for over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help to reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, but these can have unpleasant odors, side effects, or may require repeated medical office visits that can be costly. Fortunately, studies are reporting that topically applied niacinamide 4% is able to considerably improve symptoms associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Cloud’s Vitamin B3, or niacinamide cream, is an excellent alternative to successfully treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Articles cited:

PubMed, “Topical Nicotinamide for Seborrheic Dermatitis:  an open randomized study”, by G. Fabbrocini, M. Cantelli, and G. Monfrecola
May 22, 2014 by Cathy Mohr
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