Superiority of a vitamin B12-containing emollient compared to a standard emollient in the maintenance treatment of mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2017 Dec;30(4):439-444. doi: 10.1177/0394632017736674. Epub 2017 Oct 19.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting 2%-3% of the population. The wide range of drugs currently available for its treatment could be associated, in the long term, with organ toxicity and adverse events, thus, clinical monitoring throughout treatment is required. This investigator-initiated trial (IIT) evaluated the efficacy and the safety of a vitamin B12-containing ointment in comparison with glycerol-petrolatum-based emollient cream used twice a day to treat mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis for a period over 12 weeks followed by a wash-out observation period of 4 weeks. This study was conducted as a randomized, controlled, single-blind, intra-patient left- to right-side trial comparing the efficacy and safety of vitamin B12-containing ointment (M-treatment) with a glycerol-petrolatum-based emollient cream (C-treatment). The Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) was determined at baseline (T0), at time points T2 (14 days), T4 (4 weeks), T8 (8 weeks), T12 (12 weeks) and 4 weeks after the end of the wash-out period (F1). In total, 24 patients with plaque psoriasis were randomized to receive left- or right-side treatment with B12 ointment. From time point T2 to time point F1, there was a statistically significant difference in PASI reduction between M-treatment side and C-treatment side. At time point T 12, the difference between the mean reductions from baseline PASI scores by 5.92 ± 2.49 (87, 6%) in the M-treatment side versus 1.08 ± 1.02 (23, 1%) C-treatment side was statistically highly significant ( PWex < 0.001). On the contemporary panorama in the treatment of psoriasis, we conclude that vitamin B12 ointment will represent a new concrete therapy option and should be considered in the update of therapeutic algorithm for the treatment of psoriasis.

Keywords: hydration; psoriasis; vitamin B12.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pruritus / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Emollients
  • Vitamin B 12