Does the use of over the counter vitamin K cream really help get rid of bruises and/or tiny broken capillaries on the face? What about “blood-blisters”?
Does Vitamin K Cream Help Shrink Broken Capillaries on the Face?
Doctor Answers 5
Probably of Value in bruising
There are two studies I am aware of showing that Vitamin K cream may help with post-traumatic bruising. In both studies a cream containing Vitamin K was used after pulsed dye laser treatment. As anybody who has underwent treatment with this particular laser, say to rid themselves of unsightly facial blood vessels, knows purpura ( bruising) can be an unwanted side effect. In these studies one by Cohen et al and published in the November 2009 issue of Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, and the other by Lou et al in the December 1999 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, Vitamin K containing creams hastened the resolution of this laser-induced bruising. There are some problems in both studies in that there were other ingredients in the formulations which might have spurred on the body's response ( such as Vitamin C and E) in the former study and Retinol in the latter. Further, the number patients in the studies were small and the latter study was funded by the company manufacturing the Vitamin K cream. Nonetheless, most likely, Vitamin K cream does seem to be a worthwhile product for trauma induced bruising.
However, I could not find scientific evidence that Vitamin K cream helps with telangiectasias ( the tiny broken capillaries you mention). Sure, this is mentioned in so-called homeopathic articles, and companies hawking Vitamin K products, but I was not able to find scientific evidence of such. Perhaps it exists, but I could not find this. Claims that Vitamin C would help in this regard would hold much more water in my estimation since Vitamin C helps produce collagen and collagen can help hold the small vessels in place.
For these vessels which seem to concern you, certainly the pulsed dye laser mentioned above, the KTP laser, electrodessication and IPL would all work much better and quicker than applying a cream.
I can see no value of applying a Vitamin K cream for "blood blisters". Try moleskin to prevent them next time.
Vitamin K for Facial blood vessels
Vitamin K is unlikely to help with prominent blood vessels although there is some anecdotal evidence that it may help with bruising after injections. Vitamin K products are available including one called Auriderm. There are many different ways of treating broken capillaries on the face:
- Nd:YAG- remains a gold standard for treating abnormal blood vessels
- IPL- The better newer IPL machines are quite effective in treating blood vessels
- KTP-can be used to treat blood vessels as well
- Pulsed-Dye lasers- can create bruising afterwards and has fallen out of favor
With these treatments, patients can respond in 1 to several treatments depending on the type of blood vessel.
Vitamin K creams not recommended for telangiectasias
I tell my patients to not use such products as they could absorb through the skin and cause systemic clotting problems.
There is no published and credible scientific article that supports the hypothesis that Vitamin K cream helps with telangiectasias.
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Vitamin K for capillaries probably not effective
We have had good experience with Vitamin K cream, Arnica and Traumeel cream for bruising but have not seen any good results for helping or eradicating capillaries on the face or blood blisters. Laser treatment or IPL is most likely your best bet for treating capillaries on the face. (generally speaking, having not seen you.)
Dr. Grant Stevens
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.