Platelet-Rich Plasma Provides Significant Improvement in Melasma

Medical test tube with blood plasma in hands
Medical test tube with blood plasma in hands for PRP therapy, after centrifuge apparatus
Because of the significant improvement seen, the study investigators suggest intradermal PRP injection could be an alternative or adjuvant therapy for melasma.

Platelet‐rich plasma (PRP) injection is associated with improvements in melasma within 6 weeks of treatment and the use of this therapy is associated with increased patient satisfaction, according to pilot study findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

The randomized split-face single-blinded prospective trial enrolled a total of 10 women with bilateral mixed‐type melasma (mean age, 46.2 years [range, 33 to 58 years]). Clinicians injected PRP intradermally on one side of the face during four treatment sessions every 2 weeks. The control side of the face was injected with normal saline. The modified Melasma Area and Severity Index (mMASI), Mexameter®, and Antera® 3D were used to assess outcomes. Patient satisfaction was also evaluated at baseline and at 2, 4, 6, and 10 weeks.

From baseline to week 6, there was significant improvement in melanin levels with PRP as assessed with the Antera® 3D (0.61±0.02 to 0.57±0.03; P =.038). The Antera® 3D also found significant reductions in mean wrinkle levels in PRP from baseline to week 4 (10.47±1.26 to 7.63±1.06, respectively; P =.040). Over time, patient satisfaction also increased with the PRP condition. There was no difference between PRP and control conditions in the Mexameter®‐assessed erythema and melanin indices. Any adverse events that did occur during treatment were mild in severity and quickly resolved without treatment.

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Study limitations include the small sample size, the recruitment of only women, and the short follow-up period.

The study’s finding that PRP may result in reduced wrinkle levels at 4 weeks “is likely attributable to the rejuvenating effect of PRP that has been demonstrated in many studies, whereby fibroblast and collagen proliferation are stimulated and hyaluronic acid synthesis is enhanced.”

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Sirithanabadeekul P, Dannarongchai A, Suwanchinda A. Platelet-rich plasma treatment for melasma: A pilot study [published online September 30, 2019]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi:10.1111/jocd.13157