How Does Microdermabrasion for Acne Scars Work?

By Chris Sherwood, Contributor


Severe cases of acne often do so much damage to the surrounding skin tissue that even after the acne has subsided, the damaged skin remains as a scar. These scars can be embarrassing and hard to hide, even with makeup, but microdermabrasion treatments may help lessen the appearance of acne scars.


Microdermabrasion uses a skin care device containing abrasive grains that rub away the outer layers of the skin. Microdermabrasion kits are available from stores across the country, but these do not go as deep and are not as effective as a microdermabrasion procedure done in a dermatologist's office or spa. Microdermabrasion involves using a specialized tool that propels tiny crystals of either sodium bicarbonate or aluminum oxide at the skin. At the same time the crystals are propelled at the skin, a vacuum sucks the skin toward the device, sucking up any removed dead skin cells, as well as the excess crystals.


Microdermabrasion removes the first few layers of the epidermis. Some acne scars are limited to the epidermis; for those, microdermabrasion can effectively remove the damaged tissue, leaving the healthy new skin tissue beneath. Unfortunately, many acne scars lie much farther into the layers of skin. Microdermabrasion may help lessen the appearance of these scars, but it will not completely remove them. If your scars are deep, you may want to consider laser resurfacing or a chemical peel.

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