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Gel May Help Prevent Scarring in Tattoo Removal by Laser

Scarring is 11.5 percent in gel-treated patients, versus 23.5 percent in controls

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A heparin and onion extract-containing gel may help prevent scarring in patients undergoing laser tattoo removal, according to a study conducted in Hong Kong and published in the July issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Wai Sun Ho, F.R.C.S., of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues randomized 120 Chinese patients with 144 professional tattoos into two groups. One group received a placebo and the others used Contractubex gel (10 percent aqueous onion extract, 50 U heparin per gram of gel, 1 percent allantoin). All of the patients had their tattoos removed by laser and the treated areas were reviewed three months after the last treatments for clearance and complications.

The researchers found that patients in the gel group had a higher rate of cleared skin than the patients in the control group (82.3 versus 80.4 percent). Seven patients in the gel group developed scarring and seven more developed pigmentation problems. In the placebo group, 14 patients developed scarring, and nine patients had pigmentation problems.

"This study confirmed that Contractubex gel was effective, safe and simple to apply in the prevention of scarring in Chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos. It reduced the risk of scarring significantly from 23.5 percent to 11.5 percent. Contractubex gel is recommended to be used in dark skin patients receiving laser treatments of tattoos," the authors conclude.

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