Can Vitamin K Treat Unsightly Skin Conditions?
This impressive vitamin has many applications, including lightening the dark circles around the eyes
The health applications of vitamin K are only beginning to be discovered. It could be beneficial in the treatment of various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and, if people’s claims can be considered fact, its regular usage could improve or eliminate unsightly skin conditions.
But is vitamin K worth the price? The cream is not cheap, $10 to $20 per ounce or more. (But cheaper prices can be found on the Internet.) So let’s check into vitamin K and see if it can do what many people say it can.
What is vitamin K?
Discovered in 1929 by Danish scientist Henrik Dam, Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two types - K1 and K2. K1 is produced by plants and is found primarily in leafy green vegetables. As for K2, animals consume the K1 in plants and then produce K2, which their enzymes use for digestion. (Three synthetic types of vitamin K have been produced, but most are considered toxic to humans.)
Vitamin K’s primary use in the human body is for producing blood-clotting proteins and it is therefore known as the coagulation vitamin. Working in conjunction with cholesterol, vitamin K reduces or eliminates blood loss and is therefore helpful in the treatment of anticoagulant poisoning.
Vitamin K has promise
Since the discovery of vitamin K, scientists around the world have studied and tested it, hoping to discover its use in the fight against numerous health conditions and diseases such as osteoporosis, prevention of bone loss or fractures, Alzheimer’s disease, liver problems and prostate cancer. Most of these studies have not proven conclusively that the usage of Vitamin K can treat or cure any of the aforementioned, but the possibility of future success in this investigation seems encouraging.
Many researchers have also studied vitamin K’s potential for treating various skin ailments, some of which can adversely affect one’s appearance.
What causes dark circles around the eyes?
The condition of dark circles under and around the eyes has many causes: lack of sleep, iron or other vitamin deficiencies, hyperpigmentation, visible blood vessels from fat loss or genetic predisposition, hereditary thinness of the skin, sun damage and the general effects of old age.
Can vitamin K treat that "raccoon look"?
The effectiveness of using vitamin K to treat skin conditions is far from an exact science. Reputedly useful in treating skin conditions such as rosacea, spider veins and dark circles around the eyes, it simply may not do what many people hope. “There’s only one glitch,” says David E. Bank, dermatologist at Mt. Kisco, New York, referring to vitamin K’s usage as a topical remedy for skin ailments. “Nobody knows how it works!”
“Vitamin K likely works in two different ways,” says dermatologist Melvin Elson. “1. It connects with receptors on blood vessels, making them smaller and preventing blood leakage; this reduces spider veins and rosacea. 2. Vitamin K carries pigment out of the skin, lightening up dark spots.”
It appears vitamin K helps the body re-absorb the blood in bruises, etc., thus the skin can then return to its normal healthy appearance.
Therefore, using vitamin K cream or gel to lighten or even eliminate those ugly dark regions around one’s eyes could be a successful option.
Vitamin K treatment for spider veins
The use of vitamin K topically to remove or lighten spider veins may not be a viable option. Spider veins form when valves in blood vessels are damaged by age or weight gain. In theory, using vitamin K could cause the blood to coagulate before it enters spider veins, eventually eliminating them. However, if this strategy really works, the blood flow to neighboring veins could be cut off as well, causing tissue damage!
Minor surgery or sclerotherapy is recommended by many dermatologists for the successful treatment of spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. So you probably shouldn’t spend your money on vitamin K cream for this application.
Vitamin K treatment for rosacea
An article on WebMD says experts don’t know for sure what causes rosacea, an abnormal reddening of one’s skin, particularly in and around the face. These experts think the condition is caused by skin irritation, but not that related to bacterial infection.
There are many treatments for rosacea and the use of skin creams is one of them, but using vitamin K for treating rosacea would include taking it as a supplement, not using it topically. Perhaps 90 to 120 micrograms per day would be the required amount, depending on one’s age and other health conditions.
Many other vitamins can be used to treat rosacea, including vitamins A, E, D and B12. Zinc supplements can also be used.
Well, can vitamin K treat skin conditions? It could. Vitamin K cream or gel, in particular, seems a good strategy for treating that darkness around one’s eyes. It may also be effective treating rosacea. Taking the supplements could work as well, when one is concerned about spider veins. At any rate, it certainly seems one of the cheapest options available. So, if you try it, good luck!
Please leave a comment, especially if you’ve had experience using vitamin K cream to treat any skin ailment.
© 2013 Kelley
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