Platelet-rich plasma treatment for melasma: A pilot study

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Jun;19(6):1321-1327. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13157. Epub 2019 Sep 30.


Background: Melasma treatments have varying success and are associated with some complications.

Aims: To assess the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment for melasma.

Methods: Ten female patients with bilateral mixed-type melasma were enrolled in our randomized, split-face, single-blinded prospective trial. Over 4 treatment sessions that each took place every 2 weeks, PRP was injected intradermally on one side of the face (PRP condition) and normal saline on the other (control condition). PRP was prepared by using the YCELLBIO Kit® . Outcomes were evaluated with the modified Melasma Area and Severity Index (mMASI), Mexameter® , and Antera® 3D. Patient satisfaction was also assessed at baseline, at 2, 4, and 6 weeks, and 1 month after treatment completion.

Results: mMASI score and Antera® 3D-assessed melanin levels show significant improvement in the PRP condition than control condition between baseline and week 6, while patient satisfaction significantly increased over time. However, Mexameter® -assessed erythema and melanin indices did not significantly differ between the control and PRP conditions, though there was a trend toward reduced pigmentation in the latter. Finally, side effects of treatment were mild and resolved spontaneously within a few days.

Conclusion: This is the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial study using PRP for treatment of melasma. PRP injection significantly improved melasma within 6 weeks of treatment in terms of mMASI scores, patient satisfaction, and Antera® -assessed melanin levels. Hence, intradermal PRP injection could be used as an alternative or adjuvant therapy for melasma. However, additional trials are needed for more rigorous evaluation of its long-term efficacy and safety.

Keywords: hyperpigment; intradermal; melasma; platelet-rich plasma; treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous / adverse effects
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous / methods*
  • Cosmetic Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intradermal / adverse effects
  • Melanosis / diagnosis
  • Melanosis / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult