Thanks to its ability to improve wound healing, hemostasis and graft survival, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is used for many surgical applications. Now another application — ablative fractional photothermolysis — can be added to the list.
Plastic surgeons Haena Kim, M.D., of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Julio Gallo, M.D., Miami Institute for Age Management and Intervention, conducted a prospective blinded study to determine whether PRP would be effective in reducing both healing time and duration of adverse effects when used as an adjunctive treatment with fractional carbon dioxide resurfacing.
Using a fractional CO2 carbon dioxide laser, Drs. Kim and Gallo treated a 1-square-centimeter area on each forearm of every patient. Immediately after treatment, patients were randomized to receive PRP in one forearm and saline in the other. Pictures of each forearm were taken just after PRP injections and then daily until re-epithelialization occurred.
The authors observed significant improvement in post-treatment erythema in PRP-treated arms across 94 comparisons in 15 patients. Improvement was defined as the erythema rating of the untreated arm minus the erythema rating of the PRP-treated arm. They observed a similar improvement in edema.
“Our preliminary results suggest that PRP can objectively reduce erythema and edema following carbon dioxide fractional laser treatment,” the authors write. “Most importantly, patients themselves have noticed a reduction in the common post-treatment effects — erythema, edema, pruritus and discomfort. We anticipate that PRP can be an efficacious adjunctive treatment to carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and can aid patients in hastening their return to their normal routine.”