Will Microdermabrasion Remove Acne Scars?

I have light acne scars I hate! I am getting six microdermabrasions, will that remove them? They are not deep, just red marks.

Doctor Answers 3

Microdermabrasion for acne scars

Microdermabrasion will help reduce active acne and inflammatory cysts that are clogged, but will likely not improve acne scars.  Microdermabrasion should be used in conjunction with deeper treatments for acne scars.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Microdermabrasion and acne scars

If your red marks are not depressed, they are not scars, just redness left over from acne and they will fade with time.  Microdermabrasion will not help.  Intense pulsed light treatments can help the redness fade more quickly.  Protect your skin from the sun.

If your red marks are depressed, then you do have some scarring.  If they are very mild, aggressive microdermabrasion may help but a laser treatment such as Fraxel would be more effective.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Microdermabrasion MAY help, but there are better options

Thanks for your question.

Acne scarring comes in two varieties: "rolling" hills and valley type scarring, and "icepick" deep scarring. In addition, most people don't get either of these scarring types, but rather turn dark (hyperpigment) at the site of the pimple. This hyperpigmentation is NOT scarring unless there is an associated depression, dimple, or "icepick" in the skin. A good way to see this is if you have a tangential light shining off the surface of your skin to see if there is any irregularities in the skin surface.

For redness without any irregularity, time will help the most. Microdermabrasion, glycolic peels, and salicylic acid peels will all help as well. For redness associated with surface irregularity, then you will need both time for the redness to go away, AND, likely a more invasive treatment such as laser resurfacing.

So, if your redness is mild without too much of a surface irregularity / scarring as described above, microdermabrasion will be good for you. Any deeper scarring will require a more invasive procedure to help.

Good luck!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.