Are Light Peels Better Than Microdermabrasion for Superficial Acne Scarring?

Doctor Answers (2)

Chemical Peel or Microdermabrasion for Acne Scar

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Both light chemical peel and microdermabrasion treat only the very top layers of skin, called the epidermis. Recovery is quick with either treatment. However, acne scar treatments generally must go deeper to the dermis layer for improvement. The cosmetic method of acne scar treatment is not as important as the depth of treatment. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will discuss options for you. Best of luck.


Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Acne scarring requires more than light peels or microdermabrasion

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Unfortunately, neither light peels nor microdermabrasion will improve acne scarring.  They just don't go deep enough into the skin to affect the dermal layer of skin that is necessary to achieve improvement in scarring.

Deep chemical peels, wire brush dermabrasion, ablative or nonablative fractional resurfacing, subcision, and TCA cross peeling can all help with acne scarring, but these are much more invasive than light peels or dermabrasion.  Be sure to see an acne scarring specialist, usually a dermatologic surgeon.

Chad L. Prather, MD
Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon

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.