Vitamin B12 helps against itching

September 6, 2004

Chronic itching can be effectively remedied with vitamin B12 – at least if the itching is due to childhood eczema, also called atopic eczema. The highly skin-soothing effect has been demonstrated by six German dermatologists in a quite simple experiment with 49 patients.

The itch-injured patients were each given two tubes of cream. One was a neutral moisturizer, while the other contained vitamin B12, otherwise available as tablets or as a solution for injection. In the following eight weeks, the patients lubricated the neutral cream on one side of the body and the B12 crem on the other side. After the eight weeks, both patients and doctors evaluated the result.

The effect was convincing. In approx. 60% of the cases the B12 vitamin cream, after both the doctor’s and the patient’s opinion, had resulted in a “good” or “very good” result. On the side of the body that had been treated with the moisturizer, the result was almost inevitably “moderate” or “bad”. Here too, doctors and patients agreed.

The B12 vitamin cream was exceptionally well tolerated and is quite harmless. The mode of action is thought to be that the vitamin in certain contexts is an effective antioxidant neutralizing NO (nitrogen oxide) in inflammated tissue.
It was known in advance that when you block the formation of NO in asthma medically, itching and rashes decreases. The new thing is that the same effect is achieved in this simple way by blocking NO when it is formed.

Itching is also a problem in many other skin diseases, just as many elderly suffer from chronic itching. If the vitamin works with other itchy conditions, it is unknown. An estimated 10% of elderly people in Britain suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.

By: Vitality Council


Stucker M, Pieck C, Stoerb C, Niedner R, Hartung J, Altmeyer P Topical vitamin B(12)-a new therapeutic approach in atopic dermatitis-evaluation of efficacy and tolerability in a randomized placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150(5):977-83.