Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) reduces the signs of aging on the face, according to the first randomized study of PRP.
In the trial, 19 participants received PRP injections to one side of their face and a sham treatment with a saline solution to the other side. Six months after a single treatment, patients reported significantly improved skin texture and wrinkles on the side treated with PRP.
By contrast, expert dermatologist raters did not see significant difference, possibly due to photos not capturing textural change. The findings appear in JAMA Dermatology.
“There was change that patients who know their faces well could see clearly, even six months after the procedure,” says lead investigator Murad Alam, MD vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician in Chicago, in a news release. “But it was harder to detect for the raters who had to make determinations from photographic evidence. The fine textural change was hard to capture in the photos. The best method of assessing texture is to actually feel it.”
“This study is exciting because it shows that just one treatment of PRP does appear to improve sun-damaged skin for as long as six months, particularly by reducing unevenness and roughness in the skin,” Dr. Alam says.
Side effects of the PRP treatment were short-term and mild, including redness, swelling and bruising. The study did have its share of limitations. Investigators did not see much improvement in brown and red skin discoloration. They also don’t know if repeated treatments would magnify the anti-aging effects of the injections.