A new study just published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal may be just what the doctor ordered for patients struggling with acne scarring. The study suggests that combining platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy with ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing can result in reduced or completely eliminated scars.
This is big news if further studies demonstrate the same results. Despite ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing proving itself to be one of the best advancements in aesthetic medicine in recent years, it is still limited in its effectiveness. If doctors can improve the results of the treatment by adding PRP therapy to it, more patients should enjoy better results.
Laser Resurfacing Explained
There are two different ways to use laser resurfacing to help correct scarring and other similar issues. They are known as ablative and non-ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. The ablative procedure utilizes a high-powered laser to vaporize the top layer of skin. This immediately sends the body into healing mode.
In order to rebuild that layer of skin, the body begins to create collagen and build the new skin around it. With a few treatments, even the most serious acne scars can be reduced. Some of them can be completely eliminated. The procedure is also useful for skin tags, wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, and other aesthetic issues.
As for the non-ablative procedure, it is one that utilizes lasers to deeply treat the epidermal layer. It is not as destructive to skin cells as the ablative procedure, yet non-ablative laser treatment still triggers collagen production to give the skin more plumpness and elasticity.
PRP Therapy Explained
PRP therapy for aesthetic medicine takes advantage of the properties of both human growth factors and platelets. There are more than half-a-dozen growth factors in human blood, each with its own particular function in the body process. Introducing concentrated platelets and growth factors into a targeted area of the skin stimulates collagen growth.
A typical PRP procedure begins with blood being drawn from the patient being treated. The blood is processed in a centrifuge in order to concentrate the platelets and separate out unwanted components. The resulting material is essentially plasma with a high concentration of platelets and growth factors. It is injected into the skin at the site being treated.
A Good Partnership
The Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute, a Salt Lake City, Utah organization that trains doctors how to perform stem cell and PRP procedures, explains that combining PRP therapy with ablative laser treatments forms a good partnership between two very good procedures.
The efficacy of that partnership is demonstrated in the previously mentioned study. The researchers behind the study conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review of a number of other studies looking at patients with acne scars and how they were treated. The research looked at four previous studies covering 90 patients in their late 20s.
Researchers observed that when patients received the combined PRP and laser treatments, they demonstrated significant clinical improvement as compared to the laser treatment alone. Not only was the duration of crust significantly shorter, but patients also demonstrated a higher rate of satisfaction with the combined treatment.
The researchers concluded that following up ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing with autologous PRP therapy improves clinical outcomes in patients suffering from acne scarring. They said the improvements are found mainly in the fact that PRP therapy promotes faster and better healing following laser resurfacing. Their findings certainly make sense from a medical standpoint. The next step is now for someone to take up a larger and more thorough double-blind study.