Onion extract gel for surgical scars

Dr. Zoe Draelos from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina reports on the use of onion extract gel to improve the appearance of scars.

First, the details.

  • 60 people with symmetrical seborrheic keratoses on the right and left upper chest were studied.
    • Seborrheic keratosis is a common noncancerous skin growth (photo) in older adults
  • The lesions were removed using a scalpel shave, following local anesthesia.
  • 2 to 3 weeks later, the participants were randomly assigned either to onion gel treatment on one of their surgical sites or to no treatment.
  • A researcher unaware of the treatment given evaluated the scars — single blind.

And, the results.

  • Onion extract gel significantly improved scar softness, redness, texture, and global appearance when evaluated 4, 6, and 10 weeks after treatment.

The bottom line?
Dr. Draelos tells us that dermatologists frequently remove seborrheic keratoses, birthmarks, and angiomas (benign tumors consisting of blood vessels) from the body by using a superficial shave excision. It’s a fast and inexpensive technique used to minimize scarring while removing the unsightly skin growth.

It appears that applying onion extract gel makes a positive contribution to the healing process and cosmetic appearance.

7/23/08 20:31 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.