The Role of Topical Vitamin K Oxide Gel in the Resolution of Postprocedural Purpura

November 2009 | Volume 8 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1020 | Copyright © November 2009

Joel Lee Cohen MD FAAD and Ashish C. Bhatia MD FAAD

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.