Is Dermabrasion good for acne scars?

Hi, I have acne scars on most of my face. As I get older the scars look worse. I am now 55 year old, I am considering Dermabrasion. Is Dermabrasion the solution? and if I should also have fat grafting? Thank you

Doctor Answers 6

Is Dermabrasion good for acne scars?

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We answered your wonderful question in the video above.

Please consult with an accredited, board certified surgeon. It is all about designing the perfect plan for you and your body!

Good luck, please let us know how it goes.


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Dermabrasion is a technique that uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges (called a burr or fraise) to remove the upper layers of the skin. The brush or burr rotates rapidly, taking off and leveling the top layers of the skin. This process injures or wounds the skin and causes it to bleed. As the wound heals, new skin grows to replace the damaged skin that was removed during dermabrasion.

The face is the most common site for treatment, but other areas of the skin can be treated this way. It is used most often to improve the appearance of acne scars and fine lines around the mouth. It also may be used to treat an enlarged nose caused by rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition.

How it is done

The areas to be treated are cleaned and marked. A local anesthetic used to numb the skin before treatment, and ice packs are applied to the skin for up to 30 minutes. A freezing (cryogenic) spray may sometimes be used to harden the skin for deeper abrasions if the anesthetic and ice packs do not make the skin firm enough. For deep abrasions, or if the entire face is going to be treated, you may need stronger anesthesia, pain killers, sedation, or general anesthesia.

One small area at a time is treated. The freezing spray (if needed) is applied for a few seconds and then the rotating burr or brush is used to take off the top layers of skin. Gauze is used to stop any bleeding, and the area is covered with a clean dressing or ointment.

Dermabrasion is almost always done in your doctor’s office or on an outpatient basis.

John Frattellone, DMD
Red Bank Dentist

Treatments for acne scars

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Our office uses a combination approach that includes fractional lasers, dermabrasion, subcision, skin resurfacing, ematrix RF, and fillers to name a few treatments for acne scars. Best, Dr. KaramanoukianLos Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Is Dermabrasion good for acne scars?

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Thanks for your query. Yes, dermabrasion works very well for acne scars. There are various methods to remove acne scars namely, dermaroller, surgical dermabrasion, fractional co2 laser, microneedling. You can consult a dermatologist for a better consult. Hope it helps.All The Best

Ajaya Kashyap, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 217 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Dermabrasion is good for acne scarring. Overall, the process is very quick. The duration can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on the amount of area that needs to be covered. Please post pictures on this website in order to facilitate the most detailed and applicable answer as possible. I suggest that you consult with a single or double board certified facial plastic surgeon.Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Dermabrasion for Acne Scars

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Hi khtd561,

There are basically 2 types of acne scars, the pitted type and the rolling type, and most patients have a combination of both. Generally, scars that get worse with age are usually the rolling type, and they usually do not respond well to dermabrasion. Pitted acne scars respond well with dermabrasion, while Rolling type is best done with filler injection. A combination of Fractional Laser with Radio Frequency will also impove the scars but not completely eliminate it.

Somyos Kunachak, MD
Thailand Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 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.