Explanation why adding PRP to Microneedling has ZERO benefits and it is PRO-INFLAMMATORY!

by:   Daniel Clary - Vice President of AnteAge


                     PRP and MN (micro-needling)  in Aesthetics

Microneedling with PRP (platelet rich plasma) was trademarked as the " vampire facial" and

popularized widely when Kim Kardashian had it done on her TV show. Many practitioners

offer PRP microneedling, which involves drawing blood, centrifuging it, taking the platelet layer

and then activating them so they release the growth factors and cytokines contained within

their alpha granules, which is where PRP's “effectiveness” comes from. 

PRP is quite expensive and certainly not for everyone, especially those squeamish about blood and needles. We think there is a better way.

A little history: In the early 2000’s, the use of PRP extended into orthopedics to boost healing in

bone grafts and fractures. Continued success encouraged its use in sports medicine for

connective tissue repair. The first human study published by Mishra and Pavelko, associated

with Stanford University, supported the use of PRP for chronic elbow tendinosis in 2006. This

study reported a 60% improvement immediately, 81% at 6 months and 93% decrease in pain at

the final two year follow up. For injuries where a little boost in inflammatory response to

improve vascularity and increase oxygen delivery is good, PRP plays a positive role. Healing in

an inflammatory environment promotes fibrosis, or scar tissue. In the context of orthopedics,

you would rather have a fibrotic ligament than no ligament at all, right?

Aesthetic physicians jumped on the bandwagon a few years later. But does the evidence favor

the use of PRP in aesthetics? Unfortunately, no.

If you inherently understand the fundamentals of aging you know that when it comes to anti-

aging and facial aesthetics, the growing opinion is that inflammation is not desirable. In fact, it

is something to be avoided whenever possible. 

That's why we are not fans of products containing pro-inflammatory ingredients such as fat stem cell conditioned media.


Applying products on a daily basis that promote inflammation is not anti-aging, it's the


PRP contains high concentrations of the very highly pro-inflammatory bio-signals TNF-

alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TGF-beta1, along with several other bio-signals that are beneficial in

certain scenarios, such as PDGF and VEGF. The effect then of applying PRP during

microneedling is to exacerbate inflammation. Remember, inflammation when accentuated,

persistent, or chronic, is what leads to fibrosis (scarring) and excess pigmentation in susceptible

individuals. As you can see, we're not fans of PRP although we do know it is popular

(remember, the physician gets paid handsomely for using it.)

So, what to do? (Beware, horn tooting time!) Several years ago, we developed a family of

microneedling solutions that are used exactly how PRP is used, at the time of and immediately

after microneedling. Our products are based on our old friend, bone marrow mesenchymal

stem cell conditioned media and hyaluronic acid. These are highly effective in quenching the

inflammatory response and promoting healing. Hundreds of thousands of treatments have

utilized these products without reports of an adverse event.

PRP is pro-inflammatory so OPPOSITE of anti-aging.  It ads NOTHING beneficial to microneedling.

PRP is pro-inflammatory so OPPOSITE of anti-aging. It ads NOTHING beneficial to microneedling.

Platelet-rich plasma injections are HIGHLY INFLAMMATORY


Vet J. 2017 Jun;224:76-84. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.04.005. Epub 2017 May 2.

Comparison of autologous bone marrow and adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells,

and platelet rich plasma, for treating surgically induced lesions of the equine superficial

digital flexor tendon.


Several therapies have been investigated for equine tendinopathies, but satisfactory long term

results have not been achieved consistently and a better understanding of the healing

mechanism elicited by regenerative therapies is needed. The aim of this study was to assess the

separate effects of autologous bone marrow (BM) and adipose tissue (AT) derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and platelet rich plasma (PRP), for treating lesions induced in the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of horses. Lesions were created surgically in both SDFTs of the forelimbs of 12 horses and were treated with BM-MSCs (six tendons), AT-MSCs (six tendons) or PRP (six tendons). The remaining six tendons received lactated Ringer's solution as control. Serial ultrasound assessment was performed prior to treatment and at 2, 6, 10, 20 and 45 weeks post-treatment. At 45 weeks, histopathology and gene expression analyses were performed. At week 6, the ultrasound echogenicity score in tendons treated with BM-MSCs suggested earlier improvement, whilst all treatment groups reached the same level at week 10,

which was superior to the control group. Collagen orientation scores on histological examination suggested a better outcome in treated tendons. Gene expression was indicative of better tissue regeneration after all treatments, especially for BM-MSCs, as suggested by upregulation of collagen type I, decorin, tenascin and matrix metalloproteinase III mRNA.

Considering all findings, a clear beneficial effect was elicited by all treatments compared with

the control group. Although differences between treatments were relatively small. BM-MSCs

resulted in a better outcome than PRP and AT-MSCs.

J Dermatolog Treat. 2017 Aug 7:1-18. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2017.1365111. [Epub ahead of


Skin microneedling plus Platelet-Rich Plasma versus skin microneedling alone in the treatment of atrophic post acne scars: a split face comparative study.



Acne scarring is a permanent disfiguring sequel, which can take varied morphological forms.

Many therapeutic measures have been performed to improve acne scarring such

as microneedling. 

Our objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of microneedling alone versus microneedling in combined with platelet rich plasma in the treatment of post acne Methods: 

The study included 35 patients with mild to severe post acne atrophic scar. 

All thepatients received four sequential treatments of skin microneedling alone on the right side of

the face and skin microneedling followed by topical application of PRP on the left side of the

face with an interval of 3 weeks. 

Two blinded dermatologists evaluated the clinical response according to qualitative global acne scarring system grading of Goodman & Baron. Patients are queried about their satisfaction with the treatment outcomes.


The study included 35 patients with a mean age of 24.7±6.8 years. There was a significant

improvement in the degree of scar severity before and after treatment on both sides.

Regarding patient's satisfaction grades there was a significant improvement after both

treatment modalities with insignificant differences between both treatment modalities.


Both microneedling and microneedling in combined with PRP showed satisfactory


!!    PRP adds NOTHING to microneelding...so why bother?    !!

Am J Sports Med. 2012 Jun;40(6):1274-81. doi: 10.1177/0363546512442334. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Comparison of the acute inflammatory response of two commercial platelet-rich plasma

systems in healthy rabbit tendons.

Dragoo JL1, Braun HJ, Durham JL, Ridley BA,  Odegaard JI , Luong R,  Arnoczky SP .

Author information



Numerous studies have shown platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparations differ with respect to

the inclusion of certain blood components, which may affect the host's cellular response.


This study evaluated the inflammatory effect of Biomet GPS III leukocyte-rich PRP (LR-PRP)

versus MTF Cascade leukocyte-poor PRP (LP-PRP) after intratendinous injection in an animal

model. The authors anticipated that LR-PRP would incite a greater acute inflammatory response

than LP-PRP.


Controlled laboratory study.


A total of 17 skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits were tested. In all cases, healthy

patellar tendons were treated. In the control animals, one patellar tendon was injected with 2

mL autologous whole blood, and the other was injected with 2 mL sterile saline. Seven total

tendons were injected with whole blood, and 7 tendons were injected with saline. In the

experimental animals, one patellar tendon was injected with 2 mL LR-PRP, and the other was

injected with 2 mL LP-PRP. Ten tendons were injected with LR-PRP, and 10 tendons were

injected with LP-PRP. Animals were euthanized at 5 or 14 days after injection. Tendons were

harvested and stained using hematoxylin and eosin and scored semi-quantitatively for total

white blood cells (WBCs), mononuclear cells (macrophages and lymphocytes),

polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs), vascularity, fiber structure, and fibrosis.


At 5 days after injection, tendons treated with LR-PRP had significantly greater overall tendon

scores (6.3 ± 1.79 vs 1.8 ± 1.64, P = .012), as well as mean scores for fiber structure (1.4 ± 0.22

vs 0.50 ± 0.50, P = .012), denoting disrupted composition, total WBCs (1.1 ± 0.89 vs 0.10 ± 0.22,

P = .014), mononuclear cells (macrophages and lymphocytes) (0.80 ± 0.45 vs 0.10 ± 0.22, P =

.014), vascularity (1.7 ± 0.27 vs 0.80 ± 0.16, P = .008), and fibrosis (1.0 ± 0.35 vs 0.3 ± 0.45, P =

.037) compared with tendons treated with LP-PRP. Otherwise, there were no significant

differences in mononuclear cells (P = .590), PMN cells (P = 1.00), total WBCs (P = .811),

vascularity (P = .650), or total tendon score (P = .596) in any of the treatment groups at 14 days.


Compared with leukocyte-poor Cascade PRP, leukocyte-rich GPS III PRP causes a significantly

greater acute inflammatoryresponse at 5 days after injection. There is no significant difference

in the inflammatory response or cellularity regardless of the injection type at 14 days after

intratendinous injection.


Platelet-rich plasma injections are frequently prepared using commercial systems and are

administered for clinical treatment of chronic tendinopathy. It is important to characterize the

cellular responses elucidated by different injection preparations to further understand their

effect on tissue healing and aid clinical decision making. Future investigations are necessary to

apply these findings to the clinical setting.  HIGHLY INFLAMMATORY

The LARGEST meta-analysis of all the literature on PRP/aesthetics suggests no benefit.

J Dermatolog Treat. 2016;27(3):285-9. doi: 10.3109/09546634.2015.1094178. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Applications of platelet-rich plasma in dermatology: A critical appraisal of the literature.

Lynch MD 1 , Bashir S 1 .

Author information


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood-derived product enriched in platelets, growth

factors, chemokines and cytokines. Initial applications were predominantly in musculoskeletal and

maxillofacial fields, however in recent years, it has been used for a range of dermatological

indications including wound healing, fat grafting, alopecia, scar revision and dermal volume

augmentation. Here, we critically appraise the literature relating to the usage of PRP within

Dermatology. We have evaluated in vitro data, preclinical animal studies and human trials. We

conclude that, while the literature may be consistent with a modest benefit for specific

indications, there is not sufficient evidence supporting the efficacy of PRP to justify a role in

routine dermatological practice at the present time. However, since PRP is generally well

tolerated with few reported complications, further study may be justified in the context of organized


Statistical Comparison

Q-value of cytokine concentration 

between plasma and activated PRP


Graph 1

IL 13

Graph 2


Graph 3

It ads NOTHING beneficial - only promotes INFLAMMATION