Do-it-yourself Microdermabrasion Products Work?

I want to try microdermabrasion just to make my skin look healthier not for a specific problem, but my doctor charges over $100 per session and I don't want to pay that much.  I have seen a lot of different microdermabrasion products that I can use at home for a lot less money, but my doctor says do-it-yourself microdermabrasion treatments don't work very well.  Is this true, or is he just trying to get me spend money at his office???

Doctor Answers 3

Microdermabrasion is best left to experts

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We offer microdermabrasion treatments along with a full-service list of skin care treatment options.

Microdermabrasion is an excellent treatment to exfoliate the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and providing a healthy appearance to your skin. Microdermabrasion is often combined with full service facial and peel treatments to provide a more effective treatment to the living and healthy tissue.

This treatment is not to be misunderstood for dramatic resurfacing of acne scars or pigmentation concerns. Microdermabrasion may also be recommended to many patients but is often oversold in the industry.

Do-it-yourself kits that are sold over the counter are often very questionable; what is used in the product to exfoliate may do more harm than good.

It is often possible to avoid microdermabrasion treatments by using active ingredients, such as products with:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Beta hydroxy acids
  • Vitamin A (retinals/retinaldyhydes,retin-A, etc.)

These ingredients provide correct turnover and exfoliation of the skin, are available in medical spas and physician offices, and offer tremendous benefit without the additional expense of microdermabrasion treatments.

Following the recommendations of your physician or qualified skin care expert is wise.

Minnesota Dermatologist

Microdermabrasion should be performed by a professional'

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DIY products tend to be risky because consumers aren't trained in performing skin treatments. Sometimes, instructions are ignored and the products do more harm than good. I have seen many patients who come in after doing something on their own and their skin problem is actually worse than before they self-medicated. If you want professional results, you need a professional to do them. 

Microdermabrasion Should be Left to a Professional.

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In my opinion, microdermabrasion is not something that should be attempted at home. We have seen patients come to the office with broken capillaries and pitting of the skin because of inappropriate use of do-it-yourself microdermabrasion kits.

There is plenty that you can do at home to help your skin with good skin care products such as vitamin C serum and retinoids, but more invasive procedures like microdermabrasion should be done by a professional.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic 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.