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Is Dermabrasion Effective for Deep Acne Scars?

Hi, I'm considering dermabrasion for my acne scars. Most of my scars are 0.2-0.5 mm deep. Is the dermabrasion the right one or should I go for the laser? Thanks.

Doctor Answers (6)

Acne scars and Dermabrasion

+2

If your acne scars are truly that superficial, then dermabrasion may prove beneificial in achieving an overall improvement in the appearance. However, I have also found fat grafting to be beneficial if combined with dermabrasion. 


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Dermabrasion for acne scars

+1

You'll see a lot of variation with answers to questions like this. Most people will either not recommend dermabrasion or add an additional type of treatment to the dermabrasion. 

This is largely in part to the fact that dermabrasion is no longer a regular part of training for many specialties, including dermatology, facial plastic surgery, and plastic surgery; having been replaced by chemical peels and laser resurfacing. 

The reason for this is that dermabrasion is difficult to do correctly, either staying too superficial and not getting the result you want, or going too deep and making the scar worse. 

Personally, I believe dermabrasion remains an excellent option for focal acne scarring. 

Ask your physician about their background with dermabrasion and comfort level with it. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing remain excellent options for fine lines and wrinkles, but are not as effective for focal scarring compared to dermabrasion. 

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Dermabrassion for deep acne scarring...

+1

Dermabrasion for superficial acne scarring can be a very effective method if they are truly surface scars.  Other ways to improve acne scarring are by using the Fraxel laser or by excising the scar.  The Fraxel laser  rejuvenates the skin by stimulating your body's own collagen forming process.  Excising the scar is the other option.  The scar is excised and sutures are placed to remove the hole in the skin and replace it with a flat line.  Then, dermabrasion can smooth out the line.  Consult your plastic surgeon to see which method would be appropriate for your needs. 

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

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Dermabrasion for acne scars

+1

Dermabrasion is a very effective technique to correct some scars, including acne scars. Dermabrasion works by sending down the area around a scar so that the entire surface is on the same level. Dermabrasion would be a good option for the scar you are describing. Keep in mind that you may need more than one session for a great result.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Dermabrasion is effective

+1

Dermabrasion is quite effective for acne scarring, especially for the relatively shallow scars you describe. However, if you have an Asian skin type, special care must be taken to avoid sun exposure before, and after the procedure because of the risk of postoperative hyperpigmentation. I would also recommend use of topical 4% hydroquinone to minimize the risk of postoperative hyperpigmentation

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

You can have dermabrasion for your acne scars

+1

Yes, you are a candidate for dermabrasion. Remember that it could take 2 to 3 operations to achieve a GREAT result. Best of Luck!

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.