Fractional erbium-YAG laser vs platelet rich plasma in acne scar: a comparative study

Neeti Kumari, Arun Kumar, Jitendra S. Bist, Anil K. Mehta


Background: Facial acne scar is a common complication of acne vulgaris leading to social isolation, lack of self-confidence and depression that warrants multiple treatment approach. In recent years, fractional erbium-yttrium aluminum garnet (er-YAG) 2940 nm laser and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) have been used independently or in combination with other resurfacing modalities in treating acne scars with variable outcomes.  The objective of this study is to compare the therapeutic responses and safety of fractional erbium-YAG 2940 nm laser and platelet-rich plasma in atrophic post acne scars.

Methods: Patients were randomly divided into two groups (30 each), receiving six sittings of fractional er-YAG laser and PRP every month. Response was evaluated 4 weeks after each treatment session using Goodman and Baron qualitative acne scar grading system, photographic assessment by 2 blinded dermatologist and patients own satisfaction.

Results: Both treatment modalities showed improvement of acne scars, but the improvement with fractional er-YAG laser (27% marked and 70% moderate response) treatment was higher in comparison to PRP (10% marked and 67% moderate response) in terms of acne scar grade severity (p=0.33). Similar results were obtained on photographic assessment (p=0.015 and 0.021), and patient’s own satisfaction (p=0.011), respectively. Pain and stinging score were lower in er-YAG group while down time for same was shorter in PRP.

Conclusions: Both er-YAG laser and PRP showed significant improvement in atrophic acne scar while former showing slightly superior response with lesser adverse effects.


Acne scars, Erbium-YAG laser; Platelet-rich plasma

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