Vitamin K Oxide good for purpleness after PDL

Written by on November 13, 2009 in laser therapy, Red Face of Rosacea with 1 Comment

A recently published paper is proposing the use of Vitamin K Oxide (Phytonadione Epoxide Hexane) as a treatment to accelerate the recovery from the redness and purple lesions following Pulsed Dye Laser.

A previous study in 1994 also found that Vitamin K cream reduced the severity of post PDL purpura.

Whilst the redness and indeed purpleness that Pulsed Dye Laser treatments can cause will heal without intervention, any option to reduce the downtime after treatment will be welcomed.

Pulsed Dye Laser treatments can also be extremely painful. A 2009 paper detailed the use of Pnuematic Skin Flattening to reduce the pain of PDL.

Topical formulations of Vitamin K Oxide are currently available via some doctors and indeed online. A product range from Biopelle known as Auriderm suggests the following to support the promotion of its’ products; “It’s the Vitamin K Oxide – not the Vitamin K – that clears unwanted discoloration and builds vasculature. Vitamin K was effective because it provided the raw material to create Vitamin K Oxide, which really did the work.”

The science of Vitamin K Oxide

Vitamin K has shown effectiveness in dealing with this because it initiates the Vitamin K cycle of healing: In the event of trauma, Vitamin K converts to Vitamin K Oxide, activating the Coagulation Factors in the clotting cascade. The cycle continues when Vitamin K Oxide converts back to Vitamin K, converting the staining ion (Fe+3) to the more easily absorbed ion (Fe+2), blocking and/or reversing the formation of hemosiderin.

Vitamin K itself is inherently unstable in topical formulations, perhaps explaining why Vitamin K topicals so far haven’t to date shown huge promise as rosacea treatments.

It is also worth noting that is has been shown that some people are allergic to Vitamin K. Also note that Auriderm suggests that Arnica Montana tablets be taken post-operatively, but some caution may be advised – Paula Begoun, in her article, When Blushing is Not by Choice: Causes and Treatments for Rosacea (web archive link), lists Arnica as something that potentially should be avoided.

Finally a related word of warning from a 2007 Scientific Committee on Consumer Products opinion on Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) suggested that;

Because of the inadequate nature of the dossier submitted, the SCCP is unable to provide an adequate safety evaluation for the use of vitamin K1 (phytonadione) and its “oxide” in cosmetic products. However, as such use may cause cutaneous allergy, individuals so affected may be denied an important therapeutic agent.

Now to the Abstract:

The role of topical vitamin K oxide gel in the resolution of postprocedural purpura.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Nov;8(11):1020-4.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Facial purpura is a frequent barrier to patient acceptance and satisfaction with the results of various cosmetic procedures. Methods to shorten the duration of purpura after such procedures are often sought by patients. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a topical gel containing vitamin K oxide in the resolution of laser induced purpura.

METHODS: In this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled split-face study, 20 subjects with bilateral facial telangiectasia were treated with a pulsed dye laser (PDL) device at purpuric settings. The test articles, a gel containing vitamin K oxide and placebo (vehicle), were each randomly assigned to one side of the subject’s face. Subjects applied the test articles twice a day for the following 9 +/- 1 days. Improvement in both focal and general field purpura on each side of the face was assessed by the investigator using photographs. A scale of -100% (worsening) to 100% (improving) was used to rate photos against a baseline photograph obtained 15-30 minutes after treatment with the PDL device.

RESULTS: Resolution of the field of purpura was consistently greater with the vitamin K oxide gel after the second day of treatment. The greatest difference between the vitamin K oxide gel and placebo scores occurred on the fourth day after treatment. Although differences in active versus placebo scores did not reach statistical significance during the nine-day study period, a trend toward faster resolution of purpura with the active product was seen. Treatment-related adverse effects were not observed in any subject.

CONCLUSION: Vitamin K oxide gel appears to hasten the resolution of pulsed dye laser-induced purpura in subjects being treated for bilateral facial telangiectasia, and may well be useful in accelerating resolution of facial bruising from other cosmetic procedures such as fillers used for soft-tissue augmentation as well as other types of cutaneous surgical procedures

As there are so few genuine treatments for the redness of rosacea, the availability and promotion of Vitamin K Oxide may lead to some interesting and useful options for rosacea sufferers.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. marilyn says:

    I have looked all over the Peoria, Il. area for Vit. K oxide. I can find vitamin K creams, but not the oxide cream. I cannot order online, so can you tell me of a location near me that sells it? Thank you! Marilyn

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