Does Microdermabrasion Work for Hyperpigmentation?

Doctor Answers 2

Microdermabrasion & color changes

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The cause of the hyperpigmentation has to be assessed by a competent dermatologist. There are many causes for the condition, & creams are usually the 1st approach in most cases. Microdermbrasion , or any resurfacing procedure, may help a few cases. However , worsening of the condition can occur.

Please have a professional evaluate the cause & then the two of you can decide about the best treatment method.

Detroit Dermatologic Surgeon


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I have been using physician strength microdermabrasion for over 14 years for patients.  I use it primarily to stimulate collagen formation and to smooth the surface of the skin as a side benefit.  It is not my first choice for treating hyperpigmentation.  You should first consult with your physician to determine the cause of your hyperpigmentation.  Is it due to medications you are taking?  Is it after trauma? Was it after an acne flare?  Did you develope it during pregnancy?

The cause of the hyperpigmentation will help guide the treatment.  If after this step is completed the hyperpigmentation persists, then typically topical treatment with creams such as hydroquinone is helpful.  I particularly like the Obagi Nuderm program and have seen spectacular results.  For those patients whose hyperpigmentation persists, then I suggest a moderate depth chemical peel, like the Obagi Blue peel. 

I have found physician strength microdermabrasion to have a minimal effect on hyperpigmentation. 


Kathleen Archer MD

Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Houston, TX

Kathleen F. Archer, MD
Houston Oculoplastic 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.