The ability of onion extract gel to improve the cosmetic appearance of postsurgical scars

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Jun;7(2):101-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00371.x.


Superior wound healing with excellent cosmesis is critical in superficial dermal wounds created when cosmetically unacceptable lesions are removed from the body. Dermatologists frequently remove seborrheic keratoses, nevi, and angiomas from the body with a superficial shave excision. The excision is designed to minimize dermal scarring while removing the unsightly skin growth. This study was undertaken to evaluate the ability of an onion extract gel to improve the appearance of scars following excision. Sixty subjects with symmetrical seborrheic keratoses at least 8 mm in diameter on the right and left upper chest were enrolled. The lesions were removed with a scalpel shave, following local anesthesia with 2% lidocaine plus epinephrine. The surgical sites were allowed to heal for 2 to 3 weeks, at which time the subjects returned to the research center for randomization to either the onion gel treatment group or the no-treatment group. Forty-seven subjects in the active treatment group were further randomized as to the site of study product application. Thirteen control subjects applied nothing to either side. Subjects returned to the study center at weeks 2, 4, 6, and 10 for photography, subject evaluations, and investigator assessments. The study showed that the onion extract gel significantly improved scar softness, redness, texture, and global appearance at the excision site at study weeks 4, 6, and 10 as assessed by the blinded investigator.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / drug therapy*
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Keratosis, Seborrheic / surgery
  • Male
  • Minor Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Onions*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Skin / pathology


  • Gels
  • Plant Extracts