Marc Darrow MD, JD 

In  recent years doctors have found that by utilizing the growth factors found in the blood (specifically the platelets), a physician can activate stem cells already in the skin to grow new, younger-appearing skin.

Keypoints:

  • PRP injections can increase youthful skin thickness and elasticity
  • PRP injections can reduce yellowish skin appearance
  • PRP injections can lessen appearance of wrinkles

There has been a lot of research suggesting how PRP works on damaged skin and wrinkles. A September 2017 study in the Aesthetic surgery journal (1) found that after an injection of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma, see video below), doctors observed an increase of reticular dermis thickness (the lower of the two layers of the dermis (skin)). This thickening of the skin was caused by deposition of elastic fibers (the stuff of skin elasticity) and collagen, with a fibrotic aspect (skin regeneration). The researchers concluded: “PRP injection could lead to trophic (bringing blood) alteration of the skin and the precocious (premature) aging process.”

A June 2017 study (2) found that Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) induced a reduction in the manifestations of skin aging, including an improvement in wrinkles and elastosis (yellowish skin). In this research, doctors found that PRP provides growth factors that stimulate fibroblast activation (cells that start collagen production) and induce the synthesis of collagen and other components of the extracellular matrix. (The extracellular matrix is scaffold that collagen builds itself on.)  The study focused on 18 women average age 49 years old. The studies findings include:

  • PRP increased the number of fibroblasts,
  • PRP increased blood vessels in the skin
  • PRP increased collagen density in the skin
  • PRP produced significant improvements in wrinkle and elastosis and photoaging scoring scales.

Published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, (3) Egyptian physicians say that your own blood platelets can make your face look younger by attacking your wrinkles.

  • In this study 20 patients with different types of facial wrinkles were tested. All subjects received a single PRP intradermal injection and were clinically assessed before and after treatment for a period of 8 weeks using various testing scores including the Wrinkle Severity Rating Scale (WSRS).
  • The most significant results were with younger subjects that have mild and moderate wrinkles of the nasolabial folds.
  • Side effects of PRP treatment were minimal to mild and with excellent tolerability.
  • CONCLUSION: “Single PRP intradermal injection is well tolerated and capable of rejuvenating the face and producing a significant correction of wrinkles especially the NLFs.”

At Cairo University, also publishing in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, (4) doctors found that PRP injections yielded significant improvement regarding skin turgor (appearance of plumpness from hydration) and overall vitality. For patients showed positive results for epidermal and dermal thickness.

In Italy, doctors found Platelet Rich Plasma to be an emerging treatment in dermatology for skin rejuvenation. In their study (5), twelve patients underwent 3 sessions of PRP injection at 1-month intervals. Clinical and patient evaluation showed improvement of skin texture. Skin gross elasticity, skin smoothness parameters, skin barrier function, and capacitance were significantly improved.

This video will explain the procedure 

In Italy, doctors found Platelet Rich Plasma to be an emerging treatment in dermatology for skin rejuvenation. In their study (5), twelve patients underwent 3 sessions of PRP injection at 1-month intervals. Clinical and patient evaluation showed improvement of skin texture. Skin gross elasticity, skin smoothness parameters, skin barrier function, and capacitance were significantly improved.

This is not a new idea, 2003 research suggested PRP’s growth factors could repair sun damaged skin.

In 2003, doctors at Scripps-XIMED Medical Center began looking at growth factors in the repair of sun damaged skin. This is what they wrote:

  • Though surgical procedures may be very effective, the associated healing time and potential risks have spurred the development of non-surgical treatments.
  • There has also been an increasing depth of knowledge regarding wound healing and its control by growth factors as well as its modulation by the topical application of growth factors.

The objective of this study was to determine if the twice daily application of a combination of multiple growth factors (such as those found in PRP) to photodamaged facial skin results in any evidence of improvement after 60 days.

  • Eleven of 14 patients showed clinical improvement in at least one facial area. The peri-orbital (around the eyes) region showed a statistically significant improvement.
  • There was a decrease in the depth and number of textural irregularities or fine lines.
  • Biopsies revealed new collagen formation  and thickening of the epidermis by 27%.
  • Eight of 14 patients felt their wrinkles were improved, while 12 of 14 felt their skin texture was improved.

The application of a mixture of topical growth factors may stimulate the repair of facial photodamage resulting in new collagen formation, epidermal thickening and the clinical appearance of smoother skin with less visible wrinkling.(6)

Do you have questions? Ask Dr. Darrow


A leading provider of stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma and prolotherapy
11645 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD SUITE 120, LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

PHONE: (800) 300-9300 or 310-231-7000

Stem cell and PRP injections for musculoskeletal conditions are not FDA approved. We do not treat disease. We do not offer IV treatments. There are no guarantees that this treatment will help you. Prior to our treatment, seek advice from your medical physician. There is controversy in the medical community about whether umbilical cord blood stem cells are alive or dead, and which type of stem cell may be appropriate.

Neither Dr. Darrow, nor any associate, offer medical advice from this transmission. This information is offered for educational purposes only. The transmission of this information does not create a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Darrow or any associate. We do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, usefulness or adequacy of any resource, information, product, or process available from this transmission. We cannot be responsible for the receipt of your email since spam filters and servers often block their receipt. If you have a medical issue, please call our office. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

1 Charles-de-Sá L, Gontijo-de-Amorim NF, Takiya CM, Borojevic R, Benati D, Bernardi P, Sbarbati A, Rigotti G. Effect of Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in Skin with Intrinsic Aging Process. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2017 Sep 7.
2 Cabrera-Ramírez JO, Puebla-Mora AG, González-Ojeda A, García-Martínez D, Cortés-Lares JA, Márquez-Valdés AR, Contreras-Hernández GI, Bracamontes-Blanco J, Ortiz JS, Fuentes-Orozco C. Plasma rico en plaquetas en el tratamiento del fotodaño cutáneo en las manos. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas. 2017 Jun 16.
3 Elnehrawy NY, Ibrahim ZA, Eltoukhy AM, Nagy HM. Assessment of the efficacy and safety of single platelet-rich plasma injection on different types and grades of facial wrinkles. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Mar;16(1):103-111. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12258. Epub 2016 Jul 29.
4 Gawdat HI, Tawdy AM, Hegazy RA, Zakaria MM, Allam RS. Autologous platelet-rich plasma versus readymade  growth factors in skin rejuvenation: A split face study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Apr 5.
5. Cameli N, Mariano M, Cordone I, Abril E, Masi S, Foddai ML. Autologous Pure Platelet-Rich Plasma Dermal Injections for Facial Skin Rejuvenation: Clinical, Instrumental, and Flow Cytometry Assessment. Dermatol Surg. 2017 Apr 3.
6 Fitzpatrick RE, Rostan EF. Reversal of photodamage with topical growth factors: a pilot study. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2003 Jan 1;5(1):25-34.