Supplements That May Help
Nicotinamide (also known as niacinamide) is a form of vitamin B3. Several studies by Diona Damian, MD, and colleagues in Australia have catapulted nicotinamide into the public consciousness, sparking a run on vitamin supplement shelves. Her studies have revealed that nicotinamide reduces the rate of new skin precancers, basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas by 23 percent in patients with a history of these lesions. She has also done early research suggesting that nicotinamide may provide similar benefits to melanoma patients.
When UV damages the skin, DNA repair enzymes in the skin launch into repairing the damage, but never succeed in fixing all of it. The remaining damage can lead to skin aging and skin cancers. However, both oral and topical nicotinamide replenish energy supplies in the skin that get depleted by these repairs. In this way, they bolster the immune system’s ability to fix the damage. Also, UV radiation itself suppresses the immune system, and nicotinamide reduces this suppression.