Microdermabrasion for Vitiligo

Can Microdermabrasion help with Vitiligo? Or can it possibley exacerbate it? I am going to school to be an Esthetician and we are on the chapter of Microdermabrasion. I was diagnosed with Vitiligo about 3 years ago. In learning the chapter, there was a small segment that mentioned microderm could exacerbate Vitiligo. I dont want to do anything that will make it worse, it is only around my eyes on my face, but dont want it to show up anywhere else. Help?

Doctor Answers 3

Microdermabrasion does not help vitiligo

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While microdermabrasion is superficial and really has minimial adverse potential, one cannot guarantee that it would not trigger spread of vitiligo. In my years of practice, I have seen a couple cases of focal acne cystic flare leading to new areas of vitiligo. You need to weigh pros and cons of procedures and figure out your priorities.

Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Microdermabrasion and Vitiligo

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Microdermabrasion will not affect vitiligo per se. It is a superficial exfoliating procedure that will not exacerbate the process of vitiligo or cause any further depigmentation. There are a lot of good treatments for vitiligo so I would suggest you see a dermatologist and have a full evaluation. This is one condition where we have made great strides in treatment options.

Patricia Farris, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Microdermabrasion will not help or worsen vitiligo

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Thank you for your question.

Microdermabrasion removes only the very top 2-3 layers of the epidermis at most. While vigorous microdermabrasion can possibly go deeper, microdermabrasion only serves to refresh the skin and usually does not leave any severe inflammation or need for wound repair. It also does not generally have any impact of pigmentation except to possible lessen darker areas of the skin from previous inflammation. To my knowledge, there is no reason whatsoever for microdermabrasion to cause complete pigment loss or destroy melanocytes (reason for vitiligo), and thus should have no impact at all on previous areas of vitiligo.

You should be safe and feel safe with this treatment.

Good luck.

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

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.