B12 ruined my face: Hello is anyone who... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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B12 ruined my face

Tjprabha profile image

Hello is anyone who got acne after B12 injections. I took 3 injection 1000mcg (my actually dose was 6 injection 2weeks alternate days ) i took the first injection i got some huge spot I thought it was by stress after third injection i broke out very bad. Also am acne prone patient who took Accutane. But i was clear for 2 years after taking this injection i have stubborn acne. Its been 2months 3 weeks its not going.how long it will take to go away after taking b12 injections. Its hard to deal with 🥲

61 Replies

It is a known side effect. I have heard some people say it is not truly "acne" but idk; it sure seems like it to me. It was definitely worse for me at the beginning and then got better but I don't remember how long it took to go away. I do injections every day and I only get a few spots now and again.

One thing that has really helped me is taking a DIM supplement daily, particularly DIM + CDG (calcium d-glucarate) which helps with estrogen regulation (regardless of sex). My acne-prone teen takes it, too, and swears by it. It isn't a miracle but it helps a lot. If I miss even one day of taking it, I can tell.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to lynxis

My b12 was 191 am at borderline! Also how long it takes atleast need a time line to stay positive! It will go away but how long its already been 2 months 3 weeks.pls tell how long it take for you too clear up

lynxis profile image
lynxis in reply to Tjprabha

I don't think there's any way to know when it will clear up, unfortunately, and I don't think they definitively know why it happens. But by all accounts, it is temporary. There are many articles online about it. Here is one: mamamia.com.au/b12-acne/

The supplement recommendation for acne in general is all I have to offer. I hope it gets better soon. ❤️

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to lynxis

You dealt with but you dont know how long it takes for you to go away kinda crazy ? When you took the injection

TroyNZ profile image
TroyNZ in reply to Tjprabha

Tjprabha, this is obviously very distressing to you but please do not take it out on someone who is trying to help you.

I can tell you that it took 6 months for my acne to clear up. But only because I keep a diary. If I didn't record it I would not be able to remember how long it took to clear up (I can not really remember much of the first year of treatment)

One thing I have learnt from my time on this site is that everyone affected by a B12 deficiency has had some symptom that has caused them distress and no one can tell them for certain how long it will take for that particular symptom to ease (some never do).

We are all in the same boat and just trying to help where we can

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to TroyNZ

Thanks buddy ! 😊


I'm sorry to read that you're experiencing acne.

Link below lists skin reactions as a possible side effect of hydroxocobalamin injections.

BNF Hydroxocobalamin


What has your GP said?

There may be some info of interest in links below.

B12 Deficiency Info website


PAS (Pernicious Anaemia Society)

Based in Wales, UK.


There is a helpline number that PAS members can ring.

B12 books I found useful

"What You Need to Know About Pernicious Anaemia and B12 Deficiency" by Martyn Hooper

Martyn Hooper is the chair of PAS (Pernicious Anaemia Society).

BNF treatment info in book is out of date. See BNF link above.

"Living with Pernicious Anaemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency" by Martyn Hooper

Has several case studies.

"Could it Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses" by Sally Pacholok and JJ. Stuart (USA authors)

Very comprehensive with lots of case studies.

"Vitamin B12 deficiency in Clinical Practice" (subtitle "Doctor, you gave me my life back!" by Dr Joseph Alexander "Chandy" Kayyalackakom and Hugo Minney PhD

I am not medically trained.

It will go .It's not actually acne.

I got them on my face in my hairline and on my neck I seem to remember.

Rarely get one now.

I was very ill through loading so wasn't too aware.

Did take a while to go.

Just leave them and keep them clean and dry.

They do go.

Hope the b12 is helping your deficiency symptoms .


Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Nackapan

Its definitely acne. Lums under skin white heads inflammed acne ! 🥲

Nackapan profile image
Nackapan in reply to Tjprabha

It's a reaction to the b12 though so won't stay like acne Yes hard sore lumps. Look like white heads but not .

They will go.

Are your deficiency symotoms improved though .

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Nackapan

191 border line not much deficiency! I have acid relfux and gastritis it has improved but recurring!

clivealive profile image
clivealiveForum Support in reply to Tjprabha

A much wiser person than I has commented "The pimples/acne, is likely to be caused by microbes on your skin reacting to the additional B12 by producing substances that your skin is then reacting to. In theory this could be resolved by use of a good skin wash. You might have better luck talking to your pharmacist and seeing what they can recommend prior to your next maintenance shot - though there is always a chance that it was something that won't recur."

Best wishes for a quick recovery

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to clivealive

I was 191 before injection. I dont need injection. It only worse my face now not much positive effects 😒

clivealive profile image
clivealiveForum Support

I also had an adverse reaction to hydroxocobamalin when it was introduced in the 1980s so went back to and have continued on with ever since cyanocobamalin B12 injections

I hope your symptoms clear up soon and in the meantime wish you well

Hi Clive! You have no idea how pleased I am to see a reply from you!! I don't blame you if you may have been replying less and I expect I have just missed lots of your replies... But I've really missed you and hoped you were OK! Great to hear from you!

clivealive profile image
clivealiveForum Support in reply to deniseinmilden

It's been a funny old 18 months in "social isolation" deniseinmilden and I find that now I'm over 80 (an "oxygenarian" as I call myself) by the time I see a post it's already been answered by a dozen or so more knowledgeable folk.

I've been well blessed in having a daughter who works for Tesco supplying all of our food requirements for most of that time and a wife Gill, who (with my doctor's permission) is doing my three weekly injections. So far we have avoided this covid thing.

I hope all is well with you and all yours


So good to hear Clive!

I'm keeping going and have avoided the dreaded lurgy so far too. 🤞Keep up the good work together to keep you going strong - I'm looking forward to hearing from you again before too long - your knowledge is greater than you think!

Very best wishes! ❤️

In my case, the acne comes and goes. It stopped appearing on my face after the first few months, but I've got bumps all over the parts of my body covered in clothing. My arms in particular have lots of marks on them.

But I still sporadically get a bump or two on my face.

I use a mask of brewer's yeast mixed with peroxide on my face. I mix it up until it can be spread easily and then apply it. I let it sit until it hardens, and then gently wash it off with warm water.

It's the best way I've found to help deal the marks, rather than letting them fade.

A lot of us here accept the acne as a cost of taking large amounts of b12, because it's a lesser symptom than the misery we feel without the stuff.

Sorry the acne is distressing you, and I hope you find something that helps.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Sammyo23

My face is sensitive whatever i put or exfoliating it’s worse alot. So i dont put anything. Am a severe acne prone guy who suffer acne for 7 years and gone Accutane but it dosent work though. itcame back immediately .but glory of god my acne went away on its own i got a beautiful skin for 2 years after taking this injection i breaking out bad! 🥲

curios profile image
curios in reply to Tjprabha

Perhaps try taking methylcobalamin, you may be having a reaction to the form of b12 you are receiving. Most doctors don’t offer methyl but they should it’s easier absorbed.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to curios

No way I don’t take injection hereafter

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to curios

I see that i took methylcobalamin injection only

Exactly! I've got so I almost welcome mine because it means my B12 is actually working and I might have a reduction in the other, worse, symptoms for a bit.

The only solution is enough B12 and supporting supplements in the right balance to clear the homocysteine (look this up) from your body.

Hi, I also got these acne like spots on my face my Gp said it was a side affect and perscribed Zineryt solution it contains the antibiotic erythromycin and zinc acetate and used to treat acne. It was really helpful at clearing them up in the begining of my treatment but I didnt want to keep using it all the time and tried many different creams and solutions.

I found from Boots The Ordinary range and now use the Niacinamide 10% +1% Zinc soloution on my face daily and I rarely get them now and no longer need the Zineryt and it is not expensive.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to NannaTV

I dont prefer any topical on my skin ! If it works for you that it means it will work for all ! Thanks anyway. I just want to know the time line for the. Acne to naturally fade! My skin is sensitive any topical will make it worse

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to NannaTV

Thank you very much for your comment 🖤


"No way I don’t take injection hereafter"

Have you stopped having B12 injections?

Please talk to the doctor who prescribed your injections, they may be able to suggest something that would help with the skin reaction.

Some people on the forum manage their B12 deficiency with high strength oral B12 tablets.

Some report that oral tablets are not very effective though.

If you have B12 deficiency, stopping treatment is likely to make symptoms of B12 deficiency worse. I hope your doctor can help you.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Sleepybunny

I already stopped with 3 injection my actual dose was 6 injection 1000mcg. Also am not very much deficient. Am 191. Not worth to take injection as it worsening the face alot. Am gonna give a time to heal the face !

Litatamon profile image
Litatamon in reply to Tjprabha

B12 deficiency does not work in the manner that you are thinking ie. I am 191 so I hardly have an issue. It is not I am in the normal range now so everything is okay. It is a fallacy that is misunderstood even by some doctors. There is no I am back in the normal range so everything is fine - no more shots. If you do not absorb b12 naturally then there will be symptoms without supplementation pointe finale.

(One could be a vegetarian or vegan and have a deficiency without an absorption issue. However, even vegans/vegetarians can be non-absorbers.)

Some of us injecting have readings now > 1000. That does not make us cured.

I get the vanity aspect, I have claimed it myself. I stopped using hydroxocobalamin as much because of various issues (rapid weight gain, puffiness, skin issues - including what you are describing - were the vanity ones) and mainly went back to cyanocobalamin where my skin is fantastic and my weight is not affected, among other issues.

So listen or don't, but a change in form of b12 could make all the difference. As could waiting it out as loading doses in general can bring all kinds of havoc, which in the end means the body is healing.

If you are not aware, b12 deficiency is a serious health issue. It can do irreversible damage over time. And since it has already been noted by some of your responses, b12 deficiency can cause easy agitation and shortness of patience/reaction to others.

All the best to you in whatever you decide Tjprabha.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Litatamon

I understand i have some gastritis acid reflux and constipation. I gave my blood check up list to my doctor i was low in vitamin 12 191 which means borderline line so my doctor predicted injection but i see alot of improvement on Gastritis acid reflux and constipation. I poo good 🥲 but its been 3 months my I stopped injection my symptoms reccuring. Also my doctor told me check your b12 level again after 3 months even if it’s below 200 take 6 injection. But I stopped the injection in the first attempt i took only 3 injection 1000mcg . My actual dose was 6injection. If it dosent cause acne ill take but many say take methyl one i took methyl one only but broke out but it not worse like before.

Litatamon profile image
Litatamon in reply to Tjprabha

I hear you but there are issues that you might not be physically aware that are going on inside you, that can become irreversible in time. Hopefully that is not the case for you right now, but unfortunately it is the case with b12 deficiency that is left untreated, So just be careful with everything is in order.

Every person's body reacts differently to the various forms of b12. And then there are people who feel no difference at all between the forms. It is that wide of a variance.

I have already told you how my body reacted to hydroxocobalamin. Well methylcobalamin was awful for me. I felt agitated and wired and could hardly sleep. And both caused skin issues. Cyanocobalamin has zero issues for me, in comparison (not to be the choice if one has kidney disease) And I actually notice positive changes in my skin when I take it. So it really is a who knows with each and every person.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Litatamon

Even I hardly sleep before but its been 2 months 3 weeks of injection. Now i could sleep ok !

Sallyannl profile image
Sallyannl in reply to Tjprabha

Glad you can sleep ok. If you could see my chest and neck it's worse than rough sand paper with lumps. Have been given special soap, tube of cream for severe part and cream for the rest.At the moment only special soap has any effect, as for sleeping I wish, the itching is awful and trying not to scratch in the night is impossible. One thing I will not do is to stop my injections. Before I had injections I would fall over or be confined to bed.

SO it's a choice of being mobile and hopefully the rashes etc clear up.

IT is what it is and having to cope what life throws at us.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Sallyannl

Am a 24 years boy !

Sallyannl profile image
Sallyannl in reply to Tjprabha

You are a 24 year old man, and yes acne is distressing. One thing you must consider is how b12 deficiency can damage your ability in many ways. Your young and if you leave the condition untreated you could end up in a wheelchair.

Are you deficient due to diet, do you eat red meat,

Eggs dairy. If you are low due to diet then this can be addressed by eating high b12 foods.

Please take time to weigh up the position your in and consider what is more important, also who knows more b12 might even cure the acne eventually.

I wish you all the best what ever you decide to do


B12 deficiency symptoms can become very severe.

I developed dementia type symptoms and spinal symptoms and all but one of my serum B12 results were well within range eg 300 - 500 ng/L

Untreated or under treated B12 deficiency can lead to permanent neurological damage including damage to spinal cord.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency






Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy (damage to peripheral nerves)


Peripheral neuropathy can be associated with B12 deficiency and sometimes with folate deficiency.

Neurological Consequences of B12 Deficiency

PAS news item


PAS article about SACD, sub acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord


Please talk to your GP about your best options for treatment.

Are you in UK?

I'm asking because patterns of treatment and types of B12 used in treatment vary between countries.

NHS normally uses hydroxocobalamin for injections.

A few NHS patients in UK may be on cyanocobalamin injections.

It's possible to get methylcobalamin injections privately in UK.

There is also another type of B12, adenosylcobalamin but don't think this is available as injections in UK.

I had that which left scars so I have given up on the injections but take a drop of vitamin B12 in spray form daily. Not sure I am doing the right thing but never having had acne as a teenager, I totally agree how distressing this is

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Mistydawn

Yes dont know what to do 🥲

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Mistydawn

Did your acne clears up how long it takes for you ?

Mistydawn profile image
Mistydawn in reply to Tjprabha

It stopped once I stopped the B12 injections. Each spit was leaving a mark on my face.

Strange, I had acne from the age of 20, yet since having injections of B12, which I started in April 2018 my acne has completely cleared up. I'm 65 at the end of the month! Hope yours resolves soon.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to jointpain

What type of injection you took ?

jointpain profile image
jointpain in reply to Tjprabha

cyanocobalamin 1mg in 1ml glass vials which I inject every four days.

ForViolet profile image
ForViolet in reply to jointpain

Hearing of breakouts from B12 injections was news to me. I've never gotten breakouts with cyanocobalamin B12.

jointpain profile image
jointpain in reply to ForViolet

I hope you didn't get the impression that cyanocobalamin gave me acne, it didn't, it more than likely cleared it up.

ForViolet profile image
ForViolet in reply to jointpain

Thanks, I didn't word that right! I was trying to say I, like you, haven't ever gotten breakouts from cyanocobalamin.

My daughter and I both suffered spots from b12 jabs. She resorted to a blue light lLED face mask which helped a great deal. Something to do with the proliferation of bacteria in the skin from B12 Jabs. The blue light masks kill s the bacteria. My spots got let and less and now only appear rarely. Hope this helps

Thank you

Acne is simply any skin disturbance. The small spots I get, as a result of every other day B12 injections go away quite quickly providing I don't scratch them. If I do, they get worse and may even become infected. I now use a lanolin based skin cream H45 (other brands are available.) and this stops the itch and they go away within days.


I have only had four injections over 2 months and I have three white "bumps" on my face that are not going away. One of them is about 2 weeks old now. They are just white bumps but definitely noticeable. I chalked it up to the B12 though they don't look like typical acne. I am not looking forward to getting more.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to EiCa

Only three?

So far only three. about one/week. Maybe it's not related to injections but it started right after injections. Maybe not acne?

When you stopped the injection?

I suffer badly with spots, I been injecting daily for 13 months using methylocobalamin. It seems with hydroxocobalamin my spots went even worse. I have been spot free for a few weeks and now have 3 on my face. I also started with these large and painful spots for a few years before I was diagnosed.

How much mcg you are injecting!

ForViolet profile image
ForViolet in reply to Tjprabha

1000 daily for me at present.

Hi yes try not to worry when i first started injections i got bad acne i cant remember how long it stayed maybe a few months but then it just stopped and my skin went back to normal

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Niki21


Yes, I also had acne after the loading doses. I think it took about 8 months to clear up.

Tjprabha profile image
Tjprabha in reply to Yogijo

Thanks alot

As your B12 storage system is the liver and your liver cleans the blood, I’m not in the least surprised. I’ve put up with the same. Some liver conditions, in my opinion, are unhelpful.

To be clear-

I’d rather a few spots on my face compared to the absolute torture of B12 deficiency.

If this is worse that your B12 deficiency, you need to reconsult you physician.

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