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Skin Cancer

March 2011

The effects of topical vitamin K on bruising after laser treatment.

BACKGROUND: Pulsed dye laser treatment and other cosmetic procedures result in significant bruising. Claims have been made regarding the efficacy of topical vitamin K in both preventing and speeding the clearing of bruising; however, well-controlled studies are lacking. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of topical vitamin K versus placebo in the prevention and clearing of laser-induced purpura. METHODS: A total of 22 patients were enrolled in this double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. The patients were divided into pretreatment and posttreatment groups; the 11 patients in the former group applied vitamin K cream to half of their face and vehicle alone to the other half of their face twice daily for 2 weeks before laser treatment. The latter group followed the same procedure for 2 weeks after laser treatment. On day 0, all subjects underwent laser treatment for facial telangiectases using a

585-nm pulsed dye laser. Bruising was rated by the both the patient and physician by means of a visual analogue scale on days 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, and 17. RESULTS: The side of the face treated with topical vitamin K before laser therapy showed no significant difference in bruising as compared to placebo. However, the side of the face treated with vitamin K cream after laser treatment had significantly lower scores of bruising severity when compared with the side treated with placebo. CONCLUSION: Although pretreatment with vitamin K did not prevent bruising after laser treatment, use of vitamin K cream after laser treatment did reduce the severity of bruising, particularly in the initial days of application.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Aug;47(2):241-4

Effects of topical vitamin K and retinol on laser-induced purpura on nonlesional skin.

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.

Dermatol Surg. 1999 Dec;25(12):942-4

Accelerated resolution of laser-induced bruising with topical 20% arnica: a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Dermatolog-ical procedures can result in disfiguring bruises that resolve slowly. OBJECTIVES: To assess the comparative utility of topical formulations in hastening the resolution of skin bruising. METHODS: Healthy volunteers, age range 21-65 years, were enrolled for this double (patient and rater) blinded randomized controlled trial. For each subject, four standard bruises of 7 mm diameter each were created on the bilateral upper inner arms, 5 cm apart, two per arm, using a 595-nm pulsed-dye laser (Vbeam; Candela Corp., Wayland, MA, U.S.A.). Randomization was used to assign one topical agent (5% vitamin K, 1% vitamin K and 0·3% retinol, 20% arnica, or white petrolatum) to exactly one bruise per subject, which was then treated under occlusion twice a day for 2 weeks. A dermatologist not involved with subject assignment rated bruises [visual analogue scale, 0 (least)-10 (most)] in standardized photographs immediately after bruise creation and at week 2. RESULTS: There was significant difference in the change in the rater bruising score associated with the four treatments (anova, P=0·016). Pairwise comparisons indicated that the mean improvement associated with 20% arnica was greater than with white petrolatum (P=0·003), and the improvement with arnica was greater than with the mixture of 1% vitamin K and 0·3% retinol (P=0·01). Improvement with arnica was not greater than with 5% vitamin K cream, however. CONCLUSIONS: Topical 20% arnica ointment may be able to reduce bruising more effectively than placebo and more effectively than low-concentration vitamin K formulations, such as 1% vitamin K with 0·3% retinol.

Br J Dermatol. 2010 Sep;163(3):557-63

Effect of homeopathic Arnica montana on bruising in face-lifts: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

OBJECTIVES: To design a model for performing reproducible, objective analyses of skin color changes and to apply this model to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic Arnica montana as an antiecchymotic agent when taken perioperatively. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients undergoing rhytidectomy at a tertiary care center were treated perioperatively with either homeopathic A. montana or placebo in a double-blind fashion. Postoperative photographs were analyzed using a novel computer model for color changes, and subjective assessments of postoperative ecchymosis were obtained. RESULTS: No subjective differences were noted between the treatment group and the control group, either by the patients or by the professional staff. No objective difference in the degree of color change was found. Patients receiving homeopathic A. montana were found to have a smaller area of ecchymosis on postoperative days 1, 5, 7, and 10. These differences were statistically significant (P<.05) only on postoperative days 1 (P<.005) and 7 (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: This computer model provides an efficient, objective, and reproducible means with which to assess perioperative color changes, both in terms of area and degree. Patients taking perioperative homeopathic A. montana exhibited less ecchymosis, and that difference was statistically significant (P<.05) on 2 of the 4 postoperative data points evaluated.

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2006 Jan-Feb;8(1):54-9

Toxic effects of drugs used in the ICU. Anticoagulants and thrombolytics. Risks and benefits.

Anticoagulation is being used increasingly in the critical care areas. Thrombolytic therapy is now commonly used in emergency departments and coronary care units for treatment of AMI. Heparin therapy for unstable angina and for a 48 to 72 hour period following thrombolytic therapy for AMI is becoming commonplace. Beginning warfarin therapy concomitantly with heparin to decrease the total duration of heparin and the duration of hospital stay for DVT therapy is encouraged. The use of low-dose warfarin to prevent DVT in hip surgery, improve catheter patency, and prevent catheter-related subclavian thrombosis is increasing. Along with the increased use of anticoagulation must come a greater appreciation of the complications associated with the agents used, and of how to prevent or treat the hemorrhagic or thrombotic morbidity that may arise. Acute hemorrhage with thrombolytic agents must be recognized and the immediate implementation of conservative and aggressive measures begun. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis is an often-unrecognized problem that may occur in 1% to 2% of heparin recipients and result in limb amputations. A delayed onset (6-10 days) requires frequent platelet counts for early diagnosis and treatment. The resurgence of warfarin use for prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders demands observation for skin necrosis from protein C and S inhibition. Early recognition of symptoms and syndromes associated with organ system hemorrhage in patients receiving chronic anticoagulation is imperative. The use of antagonists, such as protamine sulfate for heparin, vitamin K1 for warfarin, and antifibrinolytic drugs for thrombolytic agents, may be necessary in treating hemorrhagic events. However, their use may worsen the thromboembolic event initially treated.

Crit Care Clin. 1991 Jul;7(3):533-54

Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 in human skin and the physiologic consequences.

Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 can occur throughout the epidermis in the dermis when hypopigmented Caucasian skin is exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation. Once previtamin D3 is formed in the skin, it undergoes a temperature-dependent thermal isomerization that takes at least 3 days to complete. The vitamin D-binding protein preferentially translocates the thermal product, vitamin D3, into the circulation. These processes suggest a unique mechanism for the synthesis, storage, and slow, steady release of vitamin D3 from the skin into the circulation.

Science. 1980 Oct 10;210(4466):203-5

Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice.

Colloidal oatmeal has a long history of beneficial use in dermatology. It is a natural product that has an excellent safety record and has demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, drug-induced rash and other conditions. In recent years, in vitro and in vivo studies have begun to elucidate the multiple mechanisms of action of naturally derived colloidal oatmeal. Evidence now describes its molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic activity. The avenanthramides, a recently described component of whole oat grain, are responsible for many of these effects. Studies have demonstrated that avenanthramides can inhibit the activity of nuclear factor kappaB and the release of proinflammatory cytokines and histamine, well known key mechanisms in the pathophysiology of inflammatory dermatoses. Topical formulations of natural colloidal oatmeal should be considered an important component of therapy for atopic dermatitis and other conditions and may allow for reduced use of corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Sep;9(9):1116-20

Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry, and clinical properties.

Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various xerotic dermatoses. In 1945, a ready to use colloidal oatmeal, produced by finely grinding the oat and boiling it to extract the colloidal material, became available. Today, colloidal oatmeal is available in various dosage forms from powders for the bath to shampoos, shaving gels, and moisturizing creams. Currently, the use of colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) according to the Over-The-Counter Final Monograph for Skin Protectant Drug Products issued in June 2003. Its preparation is also standardized by the United States Pharmacopeia. The many clinical properties of colloidal oatmeal derive from its chemical polymorphism. The high concentration in starches and beta-glucan is responsible for the protective and water-holding functions of oat. The presence of different types of phenols confers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Some of the oat phenols are also strong ultraviolet absorbers. The cleansing activity of oat is mostly due to saponins. Its many functional properties make colloidal oatmeal a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, as well as a soothing and protective anti-inflammatory agent.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Feb;6(2):167-70

Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity.

Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various xerotic dermatoses; however few studies have sought to identify the active phytochemical(s) in oat that mediate this anti-inflammatory activity. Avenanthramides are phenolic compounds present in oats at approximately 300 parts per million (ppm) and have been reported to exhibit anti-oxidant activity in various cell-types. In the current study we investigated whether these compounds exert anti-inflammatory activity in the skin. We found that avenanthramides at concentrations as low as 1 parts per billion inhibited the degradation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B-alpha (IkappaB-alpha) in keratinocytes which correlated with decreased phosphorylation of p65 subunit of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). Furthermore, cells treated with avenanthramides showed a significant inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) induced NF-kappaB luciferase activity and subsequent reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8) release. Additionally, topical application of 1-3 ppm avenanthramides mitigated inflammation in murine models of contact hypersensitivity and neurogenic inflammation and reduced pruritogen-induced scratching in a murine itch model. Taken together these results demonstrate that avenanthramides are potent anti-inflammatory agents that appear to mediate the anti-irritant effects of oats.

Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Nov;300(10):569-74