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Safety of Biotin Supplements and Topical Products

Biotin is generally considered safe for both oral and topical usage. However, one study based on food frequency questionnaires suggests that doses of biotin higher than 600 µg/day may increase risk of DNA damage.62

Biotin is not known to cause negative interactions with drugs, but some drugs may lead to biotin deficiency. There was one report of a potentially adverse combination of biotin and vitamin B5.1

Oral Supplements

There are no reports of toxicity from biotin, and oral supplementation is well-tolerated at even very high doses. In people with genetic disorders that cause biotin deficiency, doses as high as 200 mg/day have been given without adverse side effects. Long-term, high-dosage biotin supplementation (5 mg/day for two years) has been reported as well-tolerated with no toxicities. The only published report of a serious adverse event with biotin usage involved an elderly woman who took 10 mg/day of biotin in combination with 300 mg/day of pantothenic acid for two months. She suffered an episode of eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion—a type of fluid accumulation around the heart and lungs. This condition is potentially fatal. However, given the lack of adverse reports, there is no established maximum amount of intake for biotin.5

Topical Usage

Biotin is used in many cosmetic and personal care products for hair and skin, in concentrations ranging from 0.0001% to 0.6%. Tests show that while it does absorb some ultraviolet (UV) radiation, there does not appear to be any peaks in UVA or UVB, the types associated with skin damage. When used topically and orally, biotin is quickly metabolized and passed out of the body in urine. There has only been one report of hives as an adverse skin reaction. Based on available data of the large number of people exposed to biotin regularly with no adverse reactions, biotin is considered safe to use in cosmetic applications.63

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
Microgram; 1 µg is the equivalent of 1/1000 of a milligram.
Eosinophila are a type of white blood cell typically released by
the immune system in the present of an allergen, virus, or bacteria.
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