Biotin is a water soluble B-complex vitamin, naturally occurring in foods such as egg yolks and sardines, that plays a variety of complex roles in metabolism and functioning of the body. The connection between biotin and acne stems purely from the side effects experienced from taking a biotin supplement. No conclusive studies have shown or proven that biotin is connected to acne or that biotin can help cure acne when taken as a supplement. Reports of developing acne due to supplementing with biotin are common, likely due to the fact that the body already receives enough of this vitamin through the diet.
This B-complex vitamin plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and the production of fatty acids and glucose, all of which are important for providing energy to the body. Biotin is also important for strengthening hair and fingernails, and a deficiency can lead to an itchy scalp and brittle nails. Unless there is an inadequate intake of food, or unless the body prevents biotin from being absorbed properly, biotin deficiencies are rare. The body receives enough of this vitamin through the diet, as it is rich in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Reports of biotin and acne are quite common in individuals who supplement with biotin to improve hair growth or strengthening of the fingernails. A proposed hypothesis between supplemental biotin and acne production has to do with the fact that biotin supplementation gives the body far too much of this vitamin. Unless an individual is truly suffering from a biotin deficiency, supplementing with biotin will not likely provide benefit and may even promote adverse effects, like acne. Biotin and acne are not normally associated with each other when biotin is received naturally through foods.
More often than not, a biotin deficiency can cause a rash on the skin rather than acne. Supplemental biotin should only be taken under the supervision of a physician who can carefully monitor the amounts of biotin in the body, which will help determine the amount needed to supplement with every day without adverse effects. If the body can absorb biotin efficiently through foods, then a more natural approach to improving biotin levels can be transitioning to including a variety of foods in the diet. Avoiding raw egg whites, which contain a substance called avidin, can help biotin work efficiently in the body.