Microdermabrasion Acne Scars

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?

Doctor Answers 10

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.

Minneapolis Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

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.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews



Thanks for your question. Due to Microdermabrasion being quite superficial in the skin and acne scarring often running deeper there is usually a minimal results and effect from a series of treatment. It will however improve and enhance the penetration of further products applied to the skin and increase cellular turnover, giving an overall smoother complexion.

My go to treatment for scarring usually involves a series of skincare, peels and Collagen Stimulation Therapy. This treatment proves to be very effective at improving the depth and appearance of scars.

Hope this helps

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Microdermabrasion Acne Scars

Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin by removing the dead skin cells from the epidermis. A series of treatments are needed to improve acne scars and fine line and the results may be minimal. If you are  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.

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Microdermabrasion for Acne Scars

A series of microdermbrasion treatments can decrease the appearance of your acne scars and fine lines. The exact number of treatments will depend on the severity of acne scars and fine lines but generally speaking you need at 3 treatments to see visible results. Microdermabrasion is a safe, non-invasive exfoliation method that removes and vacuums dead skin cells from the skin revealing fresh, healthy skin. Softer, smoother skin will be visible after one treatment and results will continue to advance after additional treatments. There is not any irritation, redness or downtime associated with microdermabrasion and normal activities can be returned to immediately after treatment. This resurfacing method reduces signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne and uneven texture. A smoother and more vibrant skin is uncovered when the outer layer of the skin is gently polished away. This procedure promotes new cell growth and vascular circulation under the skin resulting in healthier and firmer skin. It is best to rely on your skin aesthetician for other treatments that reduce acne scaring as well.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


Microdermabrasion can help your skin concerns, as long as they are not severe. If your scars are mild and the lines are fine, then you can benefit. The number of sessions you need depends on several factors; sometimes only 4 are needed while other times it can be 8 or more.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

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.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Microdermabrasion is not great for acne scars

Because it is a superficial exfoliating procedure, microdermabrasion doesn't do much for acne scars. There are good lasers like Fraxel and others that might be helpful. At 23 years old, I can't image you really have too many lines and wrinkles around your eyes but if you are concerned you would be better served using a good skin care product that spending money on microdermabrasion. See your dermatologist for product suggestions and maybe even ask for a prescription for RetinA or Renova.

Patricia Farris, MD
Metairie 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.