Does Having Several Microdermabrasions Help to Untether Pitted Acne Scars?

I had 4 fraxel daul to raise up small pits of acne scaring. After the procedures I notice my scars have become tethered. It no longer disappear when you pull the skin. Will the scars became untethered with several microdermabrasions? If not, is there anything that can be done to make the scars untethered again?

Doctor Answers 2

Pitted Scars Respond Well To The CROSS Technique & Medical Microneedling

Microdermabrasion, is as the name clearly suggests, a kind of very superficial abrasion, or epidermabrasion, of the skin surface. It is best for removal of dead surface skin cells, dirt, grease, grime and environmental pollutants. In my experience little more can be expected from this given its very superficial nature. 

In my experience, microdermabrasion yields little more than a slightly improved smoothness in texture and a healthier glow to the skin--not much different than that which could be achieved with Buf-Pufs, Loofahs, and even a vigorously used wash cloth. Unfortunately, despite the marketing hype, I have likewise been unimpressed with the results of Fraxel laser treatments as your story bears out. 

The TCA Cross Technique (which strands for Chemical Reconstruction Of Skin Scars) is an excellent method for treating ice pick acne scars, a kind of scar, which owing to its depth and narrowness is typically quite difficult to nonsurgically manage otherwise. CROSS involves the deep placement of TCA 100% solution, using a narrow needle or toothpick, within the ice pick scar. The intent is to cause a brisk reaction that leads to inflammation and ultimately closure of the scar as new collagen formation is promoted in the treated area. Immediately following application, treated areas turn stark white and then may ooze and crust over the next couple of days. Healing areas may resemble scratched pimples.In general a series of treatments is usually required to achieve best results. I prefer a minimum of four to six weeks between treatments to allow for maximum healing and new collagen formation.

It is important to note that it is not uncommon for the scar to widen and deepen after treatment with this method. This can be quite disconcerting if one is not warned of this in advance. In time, generally over several months, the depressions elevate and the results tend to be quite gratifying.

Medical microneedling, using either manual Dermarollers or electrically driven Dermapen is another possibility for improving the overall appearance and terxture and diminishing the tethering described. This method may performed either alone or in combination with the CROSS Technique. Consultation with a board certified cosmetic dermatologist with experience in treating acne scarring of all kinds is a must. 


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Microdermabrasion is very unlikely to "untether" pitted acne scars

Microdermabrasion can be helpful to temporarily soften the appearance of acne scars , but it doesn't penetrate the skin to affect collagen remodeling. 

It would be very unusual for a series of Fraxel Dual treatments to cause scars to become bound-down.  I suggest that you re-visit your physician to re-assess. 


Margaret Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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