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Effects of Topical Vitamin K and Retinol on Laser-Induced Purpura on Nonlesional Skin

Lou, Wendy, W., MD1; Quintana, Adelle, T., MD1; Geronemus, Roy, G., MD2,1; Grossman, Melanie, C., MD1,3

doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.1999.99145.x
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Background. Pulsed dye laser treatments usually result in purpura. Any topical application that eliminates or shortens the duration of purpura would be extremely useful.

Objective. The purpose of this prospective study was to determine the safety and efficacy of topical vitamin K cream in shortening the duration of laser-induced purpura.

Methods. Twenty adult subjects were enrolled. Each subject had five 1.5 cm sites treated with a pulsed dye laser at 585 nm, 450 nsec, 7 mm spot size at each subject's respective threshold fluence. Each subject had a control site where no topical application was used and four other sites where a different formulation was applied to each for 2 weeks before and for 2 weeks after laser irradiation. Five vitamin K formulations with or without retinol were studied: 3% vitamin K in acrylates copolymer cream, 5% vitamin K in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% vitamin K and 0.15% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% free vitamin K cream. Purpuric discoloration at each site was rated on days 0, 1, 3, 7, 10, and 14 after laser treatment on a quartile scale. Each site was assigned 100% discoloration on day 0 after laser irradiation.

Results. Laser-induced purpuric discoloration resolved faster with 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream than with no topical application. The difference is statistically significant from day 3 onward.

Conclusion. A combination of 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream hastened the resolution of laser-induced purpura.

1 Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, New York, New York;

2 Department of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York; and

3 Department of Dermatology, Cornell Medical Center, Ithaca, New York

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Wendy W. Lou, MD, Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, 317 East 34th St., 11N, New York, NY 10016.

© 1999 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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