I am 23 years old, and I have some acne scars and small lines under my eyes. I want to know if microdermabrasion is a safe treatment for these issues. How many sessions are usually needed to see results?
Microdermabrasion Acne Scars
Doctor Answers 7
Microdermabrasion for acne scars
Microdermabrasion certainly is a safe treatment if performed by the appropriate person. Unfortunately, it is not a very effective treatment for acne scars and fine lines.
Microdermabrasion is a glorified exfoliation procedure. It has little to no physiologic effects on the skin. It certainly will make the skin feel nice and smooth and allow other medications that are placed on top of the skin to penetrate more evenly and deeply so that those medications can be more effective, but as a single stand alone treatment, I must admit that I am underwhelmed with the performance of microdermabrasion.
One of the new tools that has come out lately is the PIXEL laser, which is a true fractional ablative smoothing laser that works terrifically for superficial lines and wrinkles, especially the crinkly lines underneath the eyes.
The PIXEL laser is also superb for treating acne scars. Once again, this is a true laser that needs to be operated by a physician only, as opposed to a microdermabrasion unit, which you can find in any strip-mall spa.
Both my patients and I have been extremely pleased by the results of the Pixel laser to treat superficial lines and wrinkles and acne scars. The procedure is well tolerated, relatively painless, and fast.
In my opinion, it works like, but out-performs the well known FRAXEL laser. Essentially, the pixel laser requires a treatment once a month for four months for satisfactory results.
Microdermabrasion is essentially Useless on Acne scarring
To understand how all peeling/resurfacing modalities work you have to understand 2 things; The thickness of defect (pigmentation, wrinkle, acne scarring) AND the thickness that particular modality can shave / burn / vaporize off.
A Microdermabrasion removes 5-10 microns of the epidermis. Acne scars often extend more than 100 microns thick. As such Microdermabrasion is USELESS in this regard.
Look for a Plastic surgeon using the Sciton Joule with ProFractional. That could hugely improve your condition.
Microdermabrasion improves acne scars
Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin by removing the dead skin cells from the epidermis. A series of treatments are necessary to improve acne scars and fine line and the results may be minimal. If you're looking for more dramatic changes you should consider lasers, such as Fraxel, which is safe and works great for acne scars, pigmentation and fine lines.
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Microdermabrasion for acne scars
Microdermabrasion can be used to even the skin and improve the appearance of acne scars, but will do little to recontour the acne scar deformity. I use microdermabrasion to treat active acne in patients who have acne scars. MD also works well in the lower eyelids to improve fine lines and aging of the skin.
Microdermabrasion versus Dermabrasion
There is some confusion with terminology. Microdermabrasion is essentially a gentle form for dermabrasion. Dermabrasion takes several layers of skin off at one time and requires several days to heal. Microdermabrasion takes less off per treatment, but the recovery is essentially only a few hours of redness. After multiple treatments with microdermabrasion, you can achieve very nice results.