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Does Vitamin B12 have effects on psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. This means it progresses over time but can rarely be cured. Fortunately, several solutions exist to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. Is Vitamin B12 one of them? More information in this article.

Published June 21, 2024, updated on June 21, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

Psoriasis: Can Vitamin B12 Alleviate Symptoms?

The psoriasis is a skin disease that affects approximately 2% of the French population. It is characterized by the appearance of thick red patches covered with scales, primarily on the scalp, face, lower back, elbows, knees, and feet. The psoriasis is caused by an abnormal renewal of skin cells, triggered by several risk factors that include the immune system, genetics, and environmental factors. Progressing through unpredictable flare-ups, this disease is not contagious but can be very difficult to live with, causing irritations and itching. Several studies have looked at the effectiveness of vitamin B12 in topical application to alleviate symptoms. Two clinical trials can be particularly mentioned in this regard.

  • Conducted in 2001, the first study involved 13 individuals with chronic psoriasis plaques. For 12 weeks, the volunteers applied a cream based on avocado oil and containing 0.07% of vitamin B12 twice a day. At the end of the treatment, the PASI (Psoriasis Severity Index) decreased by 91%. This score, which assesses the severity of psoriasis, takes into account the affected surface of the epidermis as well as the degree of scaling and redness.

  • A more recent, yet quite similar study was conducted with 24 adults suffering from psoriasis. The cream tested was also formulated with 0.07% vitamin B12 in an avocado oil base. This was applied for 12 weeks to half of the patients' psoriasis plaques, while a placebo cream was used on the other half. An average improvement of 86% in the PASI was noted for the side treated with the cream containing vitamin B12, compared to 15.7% for the side where the placebo cream was used.

These two clinical trials seem to suggest that vitamin B12 could act against psoriasis. However, one might wonder if the apparent effectiveness of the tested creams is entirely due to vitamin B12, or if it results from the synergy between this molecule and the avocado oil, known for its nourishing properties. Regardless, even if the studies hint at the potential benefits of vitamin B12 in combating psoriasis, it is important to remember that it cannot replace a dermatological treatment prescribed by a doctor.

What mechanisms allow Vitamin B12 to act against psoriasis?

If vitamin B12 appears to be so effective in treating psoriasis, it's due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Indeed, it has been shown that this molecule can limit the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO), a compound that plays a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. By stimulating the proliferation of keratinocytes, NO is partly responsible for the hyperkeratinization characteristic of this skin condition and the resulting inflammation. Furthermore, nitric oxide is a vasodilator: it increases the diameter of blood vessels, which promotes the occurrence of redness and edema. It's also worth noting that vitamin B12 is capable of inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by T lymphocytes, molecules that affect a wide range of cells and are involved in the induction and persistence of pain.


  • ALTMEYER P. & al. Vitamin B12 Cream Infused with Avocado Oil for the Treatment of Plaque Psoriasis. Dermatology (2001).

  • DAVLUY S. & others. A Review of Vitamin B12 in Dermatology. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2015).

  • NISTICO S. & al. Superiority of a vitamin B12-containing emollient over a standard emollient in the maintenance treatment of mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology (2017).


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