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Precautions when Taking Biotin for Hair, Skin and Nails

Updated on July 23, 2016
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Mark is a health and fitness advocate and has over 20 years experience in the field of fitness and exercise, nutrition, and well-being.

Biotin for Hair: Take Precaution before using Biotin
Biotin for Hair: Take Precaution before using Biotin

Be Cautious when Taking Biotin for Hair

If you’re reading this article it’s probably because you’re considering taking or are already taking biotin for hair loss, or because your nails are brittle, or perhaps you’re experiencing skin problems. Most women are familiar with this supplement and how it has been rumored and advertised as the cure for hair loss.

Most of us who have experienced hair loss at one time or another have bought a bottle of biotin, trusting and hoping that it would help resolve our hair loss problems. But how effective is this supplement, really? Is it safe? Can taking too much lead to negative side effects? Let us start by taking a closer look at what biotin is.

What is Biotin?

Biotin is a vitamin, also known as B7 and formerly referred to as vitamin H. It is a part of the B-complex vitamins. This vitamin can be found in pill form such as a biotin supplement, or B-complex supplement. Naturally, these are found in foods such as eggs and dairy products, meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, and yeast, grains and nuts.

The primary responsibility of biotin is to help the body efficiently process foods including protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in supporting…

  • Bone marrow function
  • Sweat glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Healthy skin
  • Healthy nails
  • Healthy hair

Although people swear to the efficacy of biotin for hair and nail restoration, there is no conclusive evidence to support these claims, and studies vary.

Biotin for Hair - Supplements
Biotin for Hair - Supplements

Can You Overdose on Biotin?

According to, LLC the recommended daily intakes of biotin is 30 mcg or 3mg for adults, and no upper limit established; meaning an overdose of biotin is unlikely. Since biotin is also considered a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot become toxic and an overdose is unlikely since it is not stored in the body and the excess amounts are flushed out of the body in our urine each day. You can find out more about vitamins and vitamin absorption at “Choosing a Multivitamin and Understanding Vitamin Absorption to Save You Money”.

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Possible Side Effects of Biotin

Even though overdosing on Biotin in most cases is not a concern, side effects may still arise. Everyone is different and reactions to supplements, drugs, and even foods vary from person to person. The side effects from taking biotin are not critical or life threatening in most cases, but rather allergic in nature. However, in very extreme cases, side effects can indeed pose serious adverse reactions considered critical or life threatening.

BIOTIN: great for hair growth; may cause acne; start with low dosage; drink lots of water. Great tips from MAICANGIRL...

Moderate Reactions:

Even though overdosing on Biotin in most cases is not a concern, side effects may still arise. Everyone is different and reactions to supplements, drugs, and even foods vary from person to person. The side effects from taking biotin are not critical or life threatening in most cases, but rather allergic in nature.

  • Acne or skin eruptions
  • Skin rash
  • Itchiness of the skin

Biotin side effects: Skin rash or itching
Biotin side effects: Skin rash or itching

Extreme Reactions:

In extreme cases individuals may experience the following, in some cases life threatening symptoms:

  • Anaphylaxis: Caused by an allergic reaction to biotin that can cause breathing problems and in extreme cases can be life threatening.
  • Blood Sugar Level Imbalance: Higher levels of biotin in the body may also cause increased blood glucose levels.
  • Eosinophilic Pleuropericardial Effusion: A very rare disorder whereby air and blood fills the Pleural Cavity (space near the lungs) causing serious pulmonary risks. This condition should be taken seriously as it can be life threatening. One such case can be found at “, US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, Ann Pharmacother, 2001 Apr;35(4):424-6, PMID:11302404”.

Treatment for Biotin Adverse Reactions

Your first step would be to immediately stop the intake of biotin and drink plenty of water. Since biotin is a water soluble vitamin, B7, drinking plenty of water will help flush out any biotin in your body through the urine.

Otherwise, in extreme life threatening reactions, immediate medical help would be necessary.

If you have concerns or you are diabetic, always consult your physician before taking biotin. Always start your dosage at the lowest level, and if necessary gradually work your way up if needed to get the desired results.

SECRETS TO GREAT HAIR: Dr. Oz hair loss test; hair health; biotin foods.

Biotin Precautions

This article is not intended to scare you away from taking biotin. Many people take biotin supplements and have great results when treating brittle or thinning hair or nails. Stores even sell these pills with potency levels of up to 5000 mcg per pill and even up to 10000 mcg. It is always recommended that you start with the lowest possible dosage and work your way up, as needed for desired results.

Biotin is not a drug or medication. Biotin is a vitamin, and can be taken as a supplement to your daily diet. Biotin can be taken regularly, but should not substitute a healthy diet. A healthy diet is still vital for a healthy body, proper organ function, and in this case healthy hair, nails and skin.

As stated before, extreme life threatening reactions are very rare. However, taking precautions when taking biotin for hair, skin and nails is always a better decision. Educating yourself or getting medical advice from your doctor is always a good idea.

Using biotin for hair reparation, nail restoration, healthy skin and other problems can be achieved successfully and without side effects. Many people have been successfully using biotin to help remedy these problems and so can you. Testimonials may vary, but many claim successful results. One great place to look for honest testimonials and reviews for biotin is Amazon.

Good luck, stay healthy, and be smart.

© 2016 John Mark


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    • allthingsclassy profile image

      Stacy 16 months ago from Omaha, Nebraska

      I noticed when i take biotin. It causes me to break out. :(