What is Hexilak Scar Gel
Hexilak gel is manufactured by reputable international company Menarini. Hexilak is a scar removal gel which contains 3 main highly-effective active ingredients: Allium Cepa Extract + Heparin Sodium + Allantoin. Topical applications of a gel containing allium cepa, pentaglycan, heparin and allantoin twice a day for 24 weeks is useful in reducing neoangiogenesis in hypertrophic scars and keloids, resulting in clinical improvement of skin lesions. Hexilak should not be used by patients with hypersensitivity to alky-4-hydroxybenzoate (parabens). Do not use on open wounds, unhealed or mucous membrane.
- Allium Cepa Extract – researchers think allantoin’s main role is to increase the penetration of Allium cepa, aka onion. While not listed as an active ingredient, onion is a longtime additive of choice for scar treatments. You recognize onion by its smelly sulfur-containing molecules, but it’s the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that might improve your scar—possibly by regulating fibroblasts, the cells that help build scaffolding for new tissue. Onion extract improved hypertrophic and keloids scars via multiple mechanisms. However, it was statistically ineffective in improving scar height and itching. For this reason, onion extract therapy should be used in combination with an occlusive silicone dressing to achieve a satisfying decrease in scar height.
- Heparin Sodium – heparin is an anti-coagulant which prevents clotting of blood, thereby allowing normal blood flow. It not only prevents the formation of harmful blood clots in the legs, lungs, and heart but also stops them from growing bigger.
- Allantoin – the headliner in this gel, which claims to “reduce the appearance” of scars, is allantoin, a nitrogen-rich waste molecule excreted in mammalian urine. It softens keratin, the fibrous protein that makes your birthday suit tough and waterproof. That smooths the skin and encourages dead skin cells to slough off.
Everyone has experienced a burn, cut, or surgery that has left a scar. When the scar is located in an inconspicuous place, it is not so bad. When an existing scar or a new injury occurs in a noticeable place, however, patients will appreciate knowing that there are OTC products that can reduce the scar.
The Scarring Process
Scarring is part of the skin’s natural healing process and occurs in 3 steps: inflammation, tissue formation, and remodeling. Fibroblasts proliferate in the wound and produce a tough, fibrous protein called collagen. Collagen fills and closes the wound in a disorganized manner, resulting in a scar.
Keloid scars occur when the body “overheals” the injury. Contracture scars occur when the skin tightens, often in response to a burn. Hypertrophic scars are red and raised, much like keloid scars, but they do not extend beyond the injury site. Acne scars may appear as deep pits or red spots. Treatment methods for scars include dermabrasion, laser surgery, steroid injections, prescription medications, and OTC creams, ointments, and gels.
OTC Treatment Options
Aloe vera gel is used topically to promote wound and burn to heal and to reduce pain and inflammation. It contains carboxypeptidases and salicylate, which inhibit bradykinin, a substance that causes pain. Another ingredient is C-glucosyl chromone, a topical anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, inhibits thromboxane synthesis and may even have antibacterial and/or antifungal properties (Table).
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are natural fruit acids, including lactic acid, glycolic acid, and citric acid. AHAs are used topically to exfoliate, to treat stretch marks and acne scars, and to moisturize the skin. Adverse reactions may include stinging, irritation, burning, redness, swelling, and sloughing of the skin. Patients with sensitive skin should exercise caution when using AHA products due to the increased risk of adverse reactions. Sunscreen should be used regularly with AHA products because they cause increased sun sensitivity.
Furfuryladenine is a plant-derived growth hormone used topically to treat wrinkles, brown spots, blotchiness, and roughness and to increase the skin’s moisture. It may be less irritating than AHA products and does not appear to increase photosensitivity.
Allium cepa, or onion extract, inhibits fibroblasts and has other anti-inflammatory properties. The proprietary version of onion extract is Mederma and Hexilak.
Silicone gel or sheets are used to minimize the appearance of scars. They appear to work by hydrating the wound, resulting in the production of fewer fibroblasts. With fewer fibroblasts, there is less collagen, and the scar is flatter and lighter in color.
Vitamin E is the major lipid-soluble antioxidant in the skin. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and prevent their formation. Vitamin E also may stabilize lysosomal membranes. Although vitamin E therapy is popular, topical use does pose a risk of contact dermatitis. To date, studies have not proven its efficacy in the treatment of scars.
How to use Hexilak Gel
- Apply 3-4 times a day directly onto the affected part of the skin
- Rub for a minute for absorption