Are Dermabrasion Results Really Depth-dependent?

Do superfacial or very mildly depressed scars (acne-pox) respond better than deeper ones?

Doctor Answers 4

Dermabrasion results are depth dependent.

Dermabrasion is an effective technique for recontouring the face and resurfacing the skin. Dermabrasion works by sending down the superficial skin until the deeper skin structures are reached. It is these deeper skin structures that will regenerate the superficial layers into a smoother fashion. If you have a deep or recessed scar, such as some acne scars, dermabrasion may be an excellent option. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help determine if you benefit from dermabrasion, dermal fillers, or excision of the scar with a small biopsy.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Dermabrasion works best for superficial scars

Best results will come when scars are superficial.  The deeper scars need more aggressive treatment, which can lead to increased risks.  Consult with a surgeon who is experienced in dermabrasion. 

Gregory Pippin, MD
Metairie Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Dermabrasion is depth dependent

Successful results from dermabrasion come primarily from superficial treatments.  The deeper you need to dermabrade for the desired result, the greater the risk of scarring and hypopigmentation.  Consequently, the best results come from more superficial treatments.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Dermabrasion for superficial scars only.

Yes superficial or shallow scars respond better to dermabrasion than deeper scars. Dermabrasion of deeper scars will likel produce minimal results or result in worse scarring. Deeper scars may respond better to skin needling or fractionated laser techniques.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.