Evaluation of biophysical skin parameters and hair changes in patients with acne vulgaris treated with isotretinoin, and the effect of biotin use on these parameters

Int J Dermatol. 2021 Aug;60(8):980-985. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15485. Epub 2021 Mar 8.


Aim: Impairment of biotin metabolism with the use of isotretinoin and the mucocutaneous side effects observed in patients using isotretinoin suggests that they are a result of decreased enzyme activity. We aimed to determine the pattern of skin and hair changes in patients with acne receiving isotretinoin and how these changes were affected by biotin added to the treatment.

Materials and methods: Sixty patients were divided into two groups. Each group contained 30 patients. Groups A and B received 0.5 mg/kg/day isotretinoin, and 10 mg/day biotin supplement was added to Group B. Both groups were evaluated using a digital dermoscope for hair changes and with a DermaLab® Combo device for transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin retraction, skin hydration, and skin sebum levels at the beginning and end of the fourth month.

Results: In group B, the anagen hair ratio increased (P = 0.034) and the telogen hair ratio decreased significantly (P = 0.003). Skin sebum and the skin retraction values decreased in both groups. Skin hydration decreased significantly in group A (P = 0.001), but there was no significant decrease in group B (P = 0.43).

Conclusion: Biotin (10 mg/day) given in addition to isotretinoin treatment decreased telogen and increased anagen hair rates and helped to maintain skin hydration. The use of 10 mg/day biotin can prevent the mucocutaneous adverse effects of isotretinoin treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Biotin
  • Hair
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin* / adverse effects
  • Skin


  • Biotin
  • Isotretinoin