Platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of scars, to suggest or not to suggest? A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2022 Oct;16(10):875-899. doi: 10.1002/term.3338. Epub 2022 Jul 6.


Despite the rising trend for applying platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in the management of various types of scars, there is no convincing evidence supporting its use. This motivated us to review the randomized clinical trials that examine the effectiveness and safety of PRP, alone or in combination with other methods, for the management of atrophic or hypertrophic/keloidal scars. The Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched until September 1st , 2020. Thirteen clinical trials were enrolled in the meta-analysis, and 10 more were reviewed for their results. The random effect meta-analysis method was used to assess the effect size of each outcome for each treatment type, and I2 was used to calculate the statistical heterogeneity between the studies. Patients treated with PRP experienced an overall response rate of 23%, comparable to the results seen with laser or micro-needling (22% and 23%, respectively) When used alone, moderate improvement was the most frequently observed degree of response with PRP (36%) whereas, when added to laser or micro-needling, most patients experienced marked (33%, 43%, respectively) or excellent (32% and 23%, respectively) results. Concerning the hypertrophic/keloid scars, the only study meeting the required criteria reported a better improvement and fewer adverse effects when PRP was added to the intralesional corticosteroids. Platelet-rich plasma appears to be a safe and effective treatment for various types of atrophic scars. In addition, when added to ablative lasers or micro-needling, it seems to considerably add to the efficacy of treatment and reduce the side effects.

Keywords: PRP; acne scar; atrophic scar; hypertrophic scar; keloid; laser; micro-needling; platelet-rich plasma; scar; subcision.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris*
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / etiology
  • Needles
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Treatment Outcome