The Sneaky Side Effects Of Biotin

Beautiful healthy hair is a common goal for many people. Over the years, individuals have shared their foolproof ways to keep their hair long and strong including using certain shampoos, oils, and treatments to get the best results. In recent decades, biotin has created quite a frenzy in the hair industry. According to The Harvard School of Public Health, Biotin is a B7 vitamin that helps break down macronutrients in the body. The vitamin can be found easily in many foods but has gained popularity in supplement form.


There has been a popular claim over the years that biotin helps grow hair, skin, and nails stronger and faster. However, the truth about biotin supplements for hair and skin health is a lot less glamorous. Harvard states that despite its many claims, a lot of them are based on something other than factual evidence. When testing the supplement, many of the minor trials were inconclusive and didn't take into consideration other outstanding factors. Despite this, many have still claimed to have amazing results from the vitamin. Though you should keep in mind, you still might experience some negative side effects.

The risk of acne breakouts

While biotin is considered to be a hair, skin, and nail supplement, many have reported experiencing breakouts while taking the vitamin. Dr. Marisa Garshick, a certified dermatologist explained to Instyle, that while not everyone experiences breakouts, it can be a serious side effect for those who are acne prone. Supplementing biotin can cause the supplement to be found in higher amounts than other B vitamins in the body. She told the publication, "This can lead to a relative decrease in vitamin B5, which is thought to help prevent breakouts."


If taking the supplement causes a few pimples don't freak out. According to Dr. Garshick, acne should subside once you stop taking the supplements. While she cannot create a specific timeline, you can expect to see a major improvement in your skin relatively quickly. This is because biotin is a water-soluble supplement, causing it to easily be relieved from the body.

The correlation between rashes and biotin

When it comes to taking biotin, there is an idea that the higher dosage that is taken, the better the result can be achieved. However, this is completely false since biotin is water soluble, meaning the body will expel whatever it does not need. Higher dosages can also lead to skin issues, such as rashes. "There have been instances of severe skin rashes from biotin, where blood vessels can become inflamed because the immune system perceives the biotin as something foreign," Tania Elliott, MD, an allergy and immunology specialist explained to Bustle.


According to Elliot, this can be due to an allergic reaction to biotin or even a biotin overdose. The best course of action would be to start at lower dosages and see how the body responds. If the reaction is poor, it's best to consult a doctor to create the best treatment plan and to figure out if biotin Is right for you.

Biotin can skew blood tests

Those who plan to take a blood test may want to cease taking biotin. Biotin has been known to change lab results, especially those relating to immunoassay blood tests. According to, The FDA states that it can "significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results..." while studying the supplement they found "an increase in the number of reported adverse events [injuries associated with medical care], including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests." 


While it may seem like a harmless vitamin, it can lead to notable harm in the long term. Biotin usage could lead to false results that stop people from understanding their true diagnosis and getting treated appropriately. The best course of action is to alert your doctor to your supplement usage so they can create a course of action. They may recommend you limit your dosage or even stop taking biotin altogether.

Biotin can negatively affect medications

Not only could biotin negatively affect blood tests, but it can also impact medications as well. According to Rxlist, biotin affects how the liver breaks down certain medicines. This can cause people who are taking these medications to experience increased side effects. This could also lead to the medication losing its effectiveness overall, causing the treatment to be ineffective. Dermatologist Dr. Melanie Kingsley explained to Bustle that "Any interaction with a medication can potentially be dangerous to a patient, which is why it is very important to discuss all of your medications and supplements with your doctor."


The best course of action is to have a transparent conversation with your doctor about what supplements you are using. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that can be harmless for most people. However, it is important to have a thorough conversation with a healthcare provider about whether it is right for you.