Microdermabrasion for Scar Removal?

I have had this scar for more than 20 years. I have tried retinol, bleaching creams, and scrubs. My skin texture is very fine and I scar very easily, as a result, my legs are not my best feature. What else can I do? Would microdermabrasion help?

Doctor Answers 6

Microdermabrasion does not help old scars.

Microdermabrasion often gets confused with dermabrasion, a deeper treatment. Dermabrasion should only be performed by experienced dermatologic or plastic surgeons. That said, it is not a good choice to try to improve an old, longstanding scar on the lower leg, since lower legs heal poorly and need more delicate, subtle treatments.

Different types of lasers combined with the appropriate creams AND good sun protection (not just your average SPF 30 moisturizer) can be put together to improve an old lower leg scar that has become brown over time. See a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to begin to explore the more complex options.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Improving scars with laser

Improvement of this scar can be done with a combination of chemical peels and laser.  Surgical excision is not warranted and topical creams may further help improve the scar. 

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

Microdermabrasion does not help scars

Unfortunately, microdermabrasion does not help scarring. It is too light of a treatment, and really only helps the skin feel smoother by removing the top layer of dead skin. Dermabrasion, which goes much deeper, can help scarring. However, I don't believe dermabrasion would help your scar since it is already flat.

There aren't many options for improving the scar pictured. This may be the best it ever gets. However, I do believe fractional non-ablative laser (Fraxel) could improve it. You would need several sessions to achieve this, and of course the scar won't go away completely. It may improve some though.

Chad L. Prather, MD
Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon

Microdermabrasion not good for mature scar removal

Thanks for your photo. No, Microdermabrasion will not help. Your scar is too old and matured to gain any improvement from minor intervention. I recommend a surgical scar revision.

Good Luck from MIAMI

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Microdermabrasion is not your best bet

By removing a layer of dead skin cells the skin is forced to repair itself more quickly. Because the skin feels like it needs to replace what it has lost, there is an increase in cell growth and collagen production. This makes microdermabrasian a good treatment option to soften the appearance for acne scars and fine lines. A series of 6 treatments, 2 weeks apart is needed to see a significant difference. For more dramatic results I would recommend a fraxel laser treatment or a series of 5 dermapen treatments.

Frank L. Stile, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mature Scars

Microdermabrasion is not the answer. However you might try Fraxel resurfacing to this scar. Treatment results have been excellent even in older scars.It will take multiple treaments and sun avoidance to this area is a necessity.

Diane C. Madfes, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 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.