Lasers, micro-needling, and platelet-rich plasma

By Ellie Teng ‘21

Figure 1. The SPECTRA laser is an example of a laser skin peel procedure that reduces signs of aging and other skin conditions by shedding damaged outer layers of skin and bringing forth healthy skin.

Advances in skin treatments have expanded to laser therapy, micro needling, and platelet rich plasma to restore and reverse the effects of aging and scarring or pigmentation. Restoring tone and reversing the effects of environmental and genetic aging through non surgical modalities have attracted a great deal of attention for their reduced downtime, risk of complication, and sufficient treatment outcomes.

The ablative carbon dioxide laser delivers controlled destruction of certain layers of the epidermis. This is called thermal vaporization and instigates collagen synthesis in the skin- minimizing the appearance of scars. While it is effective, long term use of carbon dioxide laser therapy can cause adverse side effects such as edema, herpes, and dermatitis.

Micro needling is defined as percutaneous collagen, and its induction is not energy-based. It is the use of controlled “mechanical injury to disrupt the dermal skin layer.” This triggers inflammation and subsequent collagen production. Like the CO2 laser, micro needling is used to treat scarring, photo damage, and androgenetic alopecia.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is more used in situations involving wound repair in the surgical or medical fields. Wound repair occurs when inflammatory cells gather at the wound site, initiating re-epithelialization, tissue contraction, and an antigenic response (1). It is also utilized for facial rejuvenation or regeneration of aged skin because both processes share similar parallels. PRP is either applied to the skin topically or injected, and serves to replenish growth factors and aid in the healing process.



  1. J1. K. Badran and V. Nabili, Lasers, micro needling, and platelet-rich plasma for skin rejuvenation and repair. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America 26 (2018). doi:  
  2. Image retrieved from:

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