J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Aug;20(8):2431-2436.doi: 10.1111/jocd.14229. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Platelet-rich plasma is a promising therapy for melasma



Introduction: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood product which has recently been used in multiple spheres of dermatology including facial rejuvenation, androgenetic alopecia, acne scars, and wound healing. Its use in melasma is comparatively an understudied topic.

Material and methods: An extensive systematic literature search of the PubMed electronic database and Cochrane central register of controlled trials was done using the keywords “platelet rich plasma” and “melasma” in the title. Relevant studies were selected and data were analyzed by two different authors. Four articles were excluded as they did not adhere to the inclusion criteria of this review and a total of 6 articles were reviewed.The relevant references of the included articles were also traced and included.

Discussion: These studies showed that PRP has been used effectively not only as an adjuvant therapy but also as a standalone treatment for melasma. PRP contains about 30 growth factors, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) being one of the growth factors having a predominant role in treatment of melasma. TGF-β decreases signal transduction of microphthalmia-induced transcription factor and thus decreases tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related proteins. In addition to this, PRP also has an additional benefit of inducing collagen synthesis thus improving the quality and texture of the skin. But there is a scarcity of data and large randomized controlled trials. This review is an effort to highlight and upscale the use of this excellent blood product for melasma which is quite a treatment refractory disorder.

Keywords: chloasma; melasma; platelet rich plasma.