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Vitamin K for Scars

By Teresa Bergen

Several vitamins have been touted as helpful in minimizing the appearance of scars. Now it’s vitamin K’s turn. But dermatologists say the evidence is not entirely convincing. You might want to delve deeper into the truth of the claims before getting out your wallet.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is fat soluble, which means it accumulates in the body rather than passing through in the urine. Its “K” comes from “koagulation,” the German word for the forming of blood clots. Vitamin K has a vital function in making sure the blood clots, which stops bleeding after an injury. Vitamin K occurs naturally in green leafy vegetables, including cabbage, kale, lettuce and turnip greens. Prunes, okra, avocado and asparagus are also sources of the vitamin.

The Claims

The makers of some topical creams on the market claim they are clinically tested to deeply penetrate the skin, fading scars within weeks. Creams including vitamin K are especially geared toward acne scars. These creams also are claimed to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, lighten redness left by broken blood vessels, treat sunburn and to improve skin tone and elasticity.

Results

According to the Scar Treatment Association, while vitamin K is commonly used to treat spider veins and bruises, there’s no real evidence it can rid you of scars. The Association suggests that treating new wounds with topical vitamin K cream might assist in healing, thus resulting in less visible scarring. The Scar Treatment Association says that evidence is stronger for silicone gels as a scar remedy. The American Cancer Society warns that injecting vitamin K can cause allergic reactions, including chest pain, numbness in the extremities, an itchy bump at the injection site and breathing problems.

Risks

If you still want to try vitamin K skin creams, there’s probably no harm in it, except of the economic kind. But the American Cancer Society warns that if you’re using a cream that’s blended with herbs, the amounts per dose can vary, even between batches made by the same manufacturer. So, apply the cream conservatively.

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