Topical application of vitamin K is beneficial in the treatment of various skin pathologies. However, its delivery to the skin is hampered by the photo-instability and phototoxicity of vitamin K (quinone form). Indeed, topical use of vitamin K is regulated in Europe owing to the photosensitive properties of this molecule. Here, we discuss the suitability of ester derivatives of vitamin K hydroquinone (VKH), the active form of vitamin K, for topical applications. Notably, VKH derivatives have the potential to overcome the photo-instability and phototoxicity problem of vitamin K and act as VKH prodrugs, as demonstrated in HaCaT human keratinocytes. Thus, VKH prodrug is a promising strategy for topical application of vitamin K without the need for special protection from light.
Part of the book: Vitamin K