In today’s article, Prof Dr Morthy, the Course Director of the International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine will discuss various differences between PRP and derma roller.

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy and Dermaroller (micro-needling) are both popular choices in today's time when it comes to overall skin rejuvenation. Not only do these treatments create fantastic results on their own but once combined the results from working together are phenomenal. Here we look at each procedure in PRP vs Dermaroller and the benefits of combining the two into your patient's treatment plan.

About platelet-rich plasma

Platelet-rich plasma has a high concentration of growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming form growth factor (TGF), those secreting from endothelial vessels i.e., vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and lastly, those factors with serum insulin-like activity, i.e., insulin-like growth factor (IGF), as well as plasma proteins such as fibrin, fibronectin, and vitronectin. Platelet-rich plasma increases the presence of proteins that regulate the G1 cell cycle, collagen type I, matrix-derived metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), and MMP-2 within human skin fibroblasts (HSF), and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in human dermal fibroblasts. Non-Surgical platelet-rich plasma injection therapy is an effective cosmetic procedure to tighten and improve the overall appearance of the skin.

Platelet-rich plasma procedure

In order to obtain platelet-rich plasma, at first, blood is taken from the vein of the patient and collected in sterile tubes with citrate as an anticoagulant. The tubes are then centrifuged in a conventional centrifuge. The duration, speeds, and a number of centrifuge steps depend on the quality of the machine used. To avoid fragmentation of the platelets and the subsequent early release of the secreted proteins, with a corresponding negative impact on their bioactivity, low centrifugation speeds are generally recommended.

When the anticoagulated blood is centrifuged, 3 layers with different densities separate out: the lower layer, composed of red blood cells; the middle layer, composed of white blood cells and platelets; and the upper layer, composed of plasma. The plasma phase, in turn, can be subdivided into 3 fractions according to the number of platelets present. These fractions are, from most to least abundant: the platelet-poor fraction, the intermediate fraction with a medium concentration of platelets, and the platelet-rich fraction. This division of the plasma phase cannot be detected by the eye, so the fraction is simply subdivided into the upper, lower, and middle thirds. Each fraction is separated into different sterile tubes by pipetting. In order to achieve platelet degranulation and the subsequent release of the growth factors and other bioactive molecules, the lower fraction of the plasma phase has to be activated. The platelet-rich phase can be activated with different agents, calcium chloride and thrombin being the most widely used. The platelet-rich plasma is then applied by injection or as a gel. In the former case, the activated mix will be injected within 10 minutes whereas in the latter case the doctors will wait until a gel has formed. This normally requires heating or the addition of bioactive polymers to the derived platelet-rich plasma.

Using local anaesthetic to numb the area and ultrasound to map where exactly the needle should go, the doctor slowly injects the platelet-rich plasma into the problem area. The injection of this ingredient leads to collagen synthesis in the area that was injected. Collagen is the material responsible for keeping the skin elastic and smooth.

About dermaroller

Dermaroller or micro-needling is a procedure that involves puncturing the dermis (superficial layer of the skin) multiple times with tiny needles attached to a device. Micropunctures are created using microneedles which produce a controlled skin injury without damaging the epidermis. These micro-injuries lead to minimal superficial bleeding and set up a wound healing cascade with the release of various growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-alpha and beta (TGF-α and TGF-β), connective tissue activating protein, connective tissue growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). The needles also break down the old hardened scar strands and allow them to revascularize. Neovascularization and Neocollagenesis are initiated by the migration and proliferation of fibroblasts and the intercellular matrix. A fibronectin matrix then forms after five days of injury that determines collagen deposition, resulting in skin tightening persisting for around 5–7 years in the form of collagen.

Dermaroller is a very simple, safe, effective, and minimally invasive therapeutic technique. It was initially introduced for skin rejuvenation, however, now it is being used for a very wide range of indications including acne scar, acne, post-traumatic/burn scar, alopecia, skin rejuvenation, drug delivery, hyperhidrosis, stretch marks, and many more. Moreover, during the last few years, many new innovations have been made to the initial instrument, which was used for micro-needling.

Dermaroller procedure

The procedure should only be performed by a trained Aesthetic practitioner with a sound understanding of adipose tissue and the patient’s overall physiology and anatomy.

The treatment area is cleaned first, and then a topical or local anaesthetic agent is used to minimise the discomfort. An ink ‘tattoo grid’ is drawn on the treatment area to guide the delivery of injections. The marks are then removed with an alcohol-soaked swab after the cosmetic procedure is over.

After preparing the area, the skin is stretched with one hand, and a device with a head made up of several tiny needles is used on the treatment area. The device vibrates quickly, enabling it to puncture the dermis (superficial layer of the skin) several times in a few seconds. It touches the dermis to spur the body to heal itself and produce new collagen and elastin. Thus creating a smoother, firmer, more radiant complexion.

The overall dermaroller treatment procedure will take between 10 and 20 minutes, though patients need to buffer more time if they are receiving topical anaesthesia. Usually, multiple micro-needling sessions are required based on the patient’s requirements, spaced one month apart. The needles are inserted deeper into the skin at each session since the skin becomes thicker and able to withstand a deeper penetration over time.

The treatment area is soaked with saline or ice packs to comfort the patient post-procedure. After that, the patient is advised to use sunscreen regularly and follow sun-protective measures. The overall procedure is well-tolerated by the patients, and there are usually no post-treatment sequelae except slight swelling and redness that generally last up to 2–3 days.

The Difference Between Dermaroller and PRP Injections

Dermaroller is a quick collagen inducing treatment which uses a pen like dermaroller to penetrate the skin with small needles.The platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then applied topically to the skin,with the assumption it will be absorbed from the small injuries created on the face by the dermaroller. This is a treatment that can be done by a licensed esthetician. The PRP injection ,on the other hand, is more invasive as the platelets are directly injected into the tissues. When PRP is placed back into the skin, it initiates a localised growth factor response increasing your chances of producing more collagen in the targeted areas and therefore giving off better results.

About IIWAM training

It is prudent that all Aesthetic practitioners undergo proper training in Aesthetic Medicine. The practitioner must balance between benefits & risks of the Aesthetic procedure and steps to mitigate complications if it occurs. At IIWAM, we call it understanding the procedure, the product, and the patient, and our trainers pay utmost attention to teaching the following subjects of various aesthetic treatment procedures under the best Medical Aesthetic Certification Programme.

Apply for the best online aesthetic courses from IIWAM today.

About IIWAM Aesthetic Education

International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine ( is a private teaching institution that provides International Aesthetic Medical Certification programs for Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Aestheticians, and Spa Owners. Prof Dr Morthy, the course director for the Institute, is a key opinion leader for Aesthetic Medicine in the region, and a trainer for several teaching institutions.

The International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (IIWAM) has academic affiliations with several countries, including Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, India and Indonesia. With our insignia of “Be Certified & Be Recognized”, the Institute develops knowledgeable, skilled, and confident aesthetic practitioners of international repute.
IIWAM is the only Institute to have its Programs certified by City & Guilds of London, CPD Standards Office (UK) and  European International University (Paris). IIWAM is also a registered CPD Training provider for Malaysian Medical Association.

IIWAM also offers Cosmetic Procedures and Stem Cell treatment at IIWAM Wellness Centre ( that are safe, effective, and affordable.