Evaluation of topical vitamin B(12) for the treatment of childhood eczema

J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Apr;15(4):387-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0497.


Objectives: Topical vitamin B(12) is an approach that has been shown to successfully treat atopic dermatitis in adults; however, there have been no studies in children. Topical vitamin B(12) is thought to decrease the symptoms involved in eczema through reducing nitric oxide production. Atopic dermatitis affects 5%-20% of children in the United States. Various treatment options are available to treat atopic dermatitis in children, but there are drawbacks to some of these options. Children tend to need a larger dose of medication for body surface area involved and can be more adversely affected by agents such as topical steroids. This study was developed in order to find an alternative eczema treatment for children.

Design: This double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study with intraindividual left/right comparison was set up to determine whether topical vitamin B(12) would be effective in children with eczema.

Subjects: Patients from the ages of 6 months to 18 years old were recruited from the Center for Family Medicine and enrolled for 4 weeks.

Outcome measures: Skin checks using a standardized scoring system were done at baseline, and 2 and 4 weeks by a single investigator. Twenty-one (21) patients completed the study.

Results: Skin treated with topical vitamin B(12) improved significantly more than placebo treated skin at 2 and 4 weeks (p = 0.02, 0.01 respectively).

Conclusions: Topical vitamin B(12) should be considered as a treatment option in children with eczema.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eczema / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin B 12