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Does Microdermabrasion Treat Acne?

Microdermabrasion is a gentle skin resurfacing treatment. A diamond-tipped device is used to exfoliate the complexion by disrupting the dead, dull cells on the surface of the skin. Then, the dead cells are carefully vacuumed away, revealing fresh, smooth and healthy skin cells.

Dr. Erwin Bulan has received inquiries about recurring acne and whether treatments like microdermabrasion can help soothe it, and lighten existing acne scars. The answer is: it depends. Microdermabrasion can be helpful for individuals with a certain type of acne, and harmful for others.

Who Can Benefit from Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion can be useful for mild to moderate acne caused by clogged pores or comedones (i.e., small blackheads or whiteheads). The treatment can help clear out the dead skin cells and other debris that clogs the pores.

Along with soothing mild cases of acne, microdermabrasion can help lighten noticeable scarring and discoloration from old acne. For patients in their 30s, 40s and older, the treatment can also reduce signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, areas of hyperpigmentation, sun damage and uneven skin texture.

However, microdermabrasion is typically not the first line of defense against acne caused by clogged pores. Topical creams, scrubs or even oral pills are usually recommended to clear out the pores. It would be rare for a dermatologist to suggest microdermabrasion to treat acne before exploring the alternatives.

Who Should Avoid Microdermabrasion

Individuals with moderate to severe acne should avoid microdermabrasion at all costs, as the treatment can exacerbate active or weeping acne. In cases of open lesions, microdermabrasion will do more harm than good. It could even cause permanent damage to the skin.

While any skilled dermatologist or skin care professional will steer individuals with moderate to severe acne away from microdermabrasion, it is also important to avoid at-home microdermabrasion kits. Without the supervision of a professional, home microdermabrasion kits can cause serious breakouts and other adverse reactions in individuals with acne.

Talk to Dr. Bulan about Your Acne or Acne Scarring

If you would like to speak with Dr. Bulan and our professional skin care team about treatments for acne or acne scarring, please call our office at (973) 467-9744 today.