Autologous platelet rich plasma: topical versus intradermal after fractional ablative carbon dioxide laser treatment of atrophic acne scars

Dermatol Surg. 2014 Feb;40(2):152-61. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12392. Epub 2013 Dec 19.


Background: A proposal has recently been made regarding the potential adjuvant use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with fractional carbon dioxide laser (FCL) for the correction of acne scars.

Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of two administration modes of autologous PRP (intradermal injection (ID) and topical application) after FCL with that of FCL alone in the treatment of atrophic acne scars.

Patients and methods: Thirty patients were randomly divided into two groups. Both underwent split-face therapy. Group 1 was administered FCL followed by ID PRP on one side and FCL followed by ID saline on the other. In group 2, one cheek was treated with FCL followed by ID PRP, and the other received FCL followed by topical PRP. Each patient received 3 monthly sessions. The final assessment took place at 6 months.

Results: Combined PRP- and FCL-treated areas had a significantly better response (p = .03), fewer side effects, and shorter downtime (p = .02) than FCL-treated areas, but there were no significant differences in ID- and topical PRP-treated areas in degree of response and downtime (p = .10); topically treated areas had significantly lower pain scores.

Conclusion: The current study introduces the combination of topical PRP and FCL as an effective, safe modality in the treatment of atrophic acne scars with shorter downtime than FCL alone and better tolerability than FCL combined with ID PRP.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / radiotherapy
  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy*
  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / radiotherapy
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome