Evidence Based Medicine in Support of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for Facial Skin Rejuvenation
There has been precious little evidence based medicine to support the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) or platelet rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) for facial rejuvenation. Hu et al submitted for publication in Aug 2020 to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal their research study of PRFM on facial rejuvenation. They utilized the Canfield VISIA Complexion Analysis System for visual assessment purposes. Their study design included a 12 week study period and a randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted at a single center comparing two groups. 30 patients received a PRFM injection in the mid-cheek region and nasolabial fold on one side of the face and saline on the contralateral side. The primary outcome measure was the difference between pre- and post-treatment total VISIA skin scores for each group at 6 weeks and 12 weeks. The change in sub-scores for each skin parameter was also calculated.
There were thirty participants, with a mean age of almost 50 years. At 6 weeks, the only skin parameter that had a significantly different change in score between the groups was texture. At 12 weeks, there was no statistical significance in the change in score for any of the individual skin parameters.
PRFM can objectively improve skin quality compared to placebo. Texture was the only skin parameter that significantly improved, which is consistent with PRFM’s role as a filler agent. The results appear to persist for at least 6 weeks.
So although the results of PRFM on facial skin may have been short-lived, the study is notable for its study design and subject of study. The famous twin facelift study involved twins which accounted for genetic differences as confounders but did not account for environmental confounding factors. This study design eliminated both of those confounding variables by comparing one side of the face to the other side of the face in the same individual.