Q & A Library
B12 Cream for Eczema?
I read that topical B12 cream has great potential in treating eczema by helping new skin grow. What information do you have on this and where can one buy it?
Answer (Published 6/2/2009)
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is an allergic skin condition, characterized by red, scaly, dry patches that are extremely itchy. The disorder is especially common in young adults, children, and infants. Eczema tends to come and go and often accompanies other allergic conditions such as asthma. Dermatologists usually treat it with topical steroids, but I believe these drugs only suppress the problem and may worsen it over time. Steroids can also negatively impact immunity.
A vitamin B12 cream tested in a small study in Germany proved effective in reducing the extent and severity of eczema. Only 49 patients participated. They each used the B12 cream on one side of the body and a placebo on the other but didn't know which was which. The research team and patients concluded after eight weeks that the B12 cream was "good" or "very good," at improving the symptoms, while the placebo was rated as "moderate" or "poor" in 87 percent to 89 percent of all cases. I haven't seen results from any other studies. To my knowledge only one other investigation was contemplated, in children, but I've seen no published findings.
I have no firsthand experience with vitamin B12 cream to treat eczema. However, my approach, described below, has worked well for many of my patients:
In addition, be sure to bathe or shower as quickly as possible, and use a non-perfumed moisturizing soap. Apply a thick moisturizing cream immediately after patting yourself dry - don't rub your skin when you towel dry your body.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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