Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Rejuvenation of Photoaged Facial Skin: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Murad Alam*, Rosemara Hughart, Amanda Champlain, Amelia Geisler, Kapila Paghdal, Dennis Whiting, Josh A. Hammel, Amanda Maisel, Matthew J. Rapcan, Dennis P. West, Emily Poon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Importance: There remains little experimental evidence and no randomized clinical trial to date to confirm the benefit of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for facial rejuvenation. Objective: To investigate whether PRP injection improves the visual appearance, including texture and color, of photodamaged facial skin. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this randomized clinical trial, participants and raters were masked to groupings. The setting was an academic-based, urban outpatient dermatology practice in Chicago, Illinois. Participants were adults aged 18 to 70 years with bilateral cheek rhytids of Glogau class II or greater. The duration of the study was August 21, 2012, to February 16, 2016. Interventions: Each participant received 3 mL intradermal injections of PRP to one cheek and sterile normal saline to the contralateral cheek. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were photoaging scores (with subscores for fine lines, mottled pigmentation, roughness, and sallowness) as rated by 2 masked dermatologists. Secondary outcomes included participant self-assessment scores of improvement on a 5-point scale (worsening, no change, mild improvement, moderate improvement, or significant improvement), participant overall satisfaction scores on a 4-point scale (not satisfied, slightly satisfied, moderately satisfied, or very satisfied), and participant-reported or investigator-observed adverse events. Results: Of 27 enrolled participants, 19 (mean [SD] age, 46.37 [10.88] years; 17 female) were analyzed. Reported adverse events, which were not associated with the study agent, included redness (n = 18), swelling (n = 16), bruising (n = 14), pruritus (n = 1), skin scaling (n = 1), and dryness of skin (n = 1). No participants reported any adverse events at 12 months. Mean (SD) photoaging scores rated by 2 dermatologists showed no significant difference between PRP and normal saline for fine lines (baseline, 1.00 [0.75] vs 1.05 [0.78]; 2 weeks, 0.95 [0.71] vs 0.95 [0.71]; 3 months, 0.95 [0.71] vs 0.95 [0.71]; 6 months, 0.95 [0.71] vs 0.95 [0.71]), mottled pigmentation (baseline, 1.21 [0.53] vs 1.21 [0.54]; 2 weeks, 1.16 [0.60] vs 1.16 [0.60]; 3 months, 1.00 [0.47] vs 1.11 [0.46]; 6 months, 1.16 [0.69] vs 1.16 [0.69]), skin roughness (baseline, 0.47 [0.61] vs 0.47 [0.61]; 2 weeks, 0.47 [0.61] vs 0.47 [0.61]; 3 months, 0.47 [0.61] vs 0.47 [0.61]; 6 months, 0.37 [0.60] vs 0.37 [0.68]), and skin sallowness (baseline, 1.11 [0.88] vs 1.11 [0.88]; 2 weeks, 0.95 [0.85] vs 0.95 [0.85]; 3 months, 0.58 [0.61] vs 0.58 [0.61]; 6 months, 0.37 [0.68] vs 0.37 [0.68]). At 6 months after a single treatment, participants rated the PRP-treated side as significantly more improved compared with normal saline for texture (mean [SD] self-assessment score, 2.00 [1.20] vs 1.21 [0.54]; P =.02) and wrinkles (mean [SD] self-assessment score, 1.74 [0.99] vs 1.21 [0.54]; P =.03). Conclusions and Relevance: Masked participants noted that both fine and coarse texture improved significantly more with a single treatment of PRP than with normal saline. Both participants and raters found PRP to be nominally but not significantly superior to normal saline. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01372566.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1452
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA dermatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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