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How do I Choose the Best Type of Microdermabrasion for Acne Scars?

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  • Written By: Sara Anastasia
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2016
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Microdermabrasion, or microderm, is a popular method for reducing the appearance of shallow acne scars and general skin imperfections. It is often performed in a spa or medical practice, though kits for home-based microdermabrasion are available. Choosing the best type of microdermabrasion for acne scars depends on the type of scars being treated, how much money you want to spend, and other health conditions that could be affected.

Acne scars come in a few variations and not all respond equally or even at all to microdermabrasion. Macular scarring, or flat but pigmented scarring, benefits from microdermabrasion, as do hypertrophic, or raised, acne scars. Microdermabrasion for acne scars is less beneficial for sunken, or atrophic scars, though this can depend on how deep they are. A person may have a combination of all of these kinds of scarring.

In some cases, patients may want to use microdermabrasion for acne scars in conjunction with other procedures, such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing. Other types will require a more invasive and surgical treatment, so having the procedure done in a spa or medical facility likely is best. Microdermabrasion works only on the external layer of the skin, so scars that have penetrated below this barrier will be unresponsive to treatments.

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Kits for home-based use are available for those who want to use microdermabrasion for acne scars without leaving home. They are convenient and less costly, but they also have a tendency to be less effective. They are suitable for those who want to speed up the fading process of pigmented acne scars or smooth extremely light scarring. There are a variety of kits available, so it’s important to choose one specifically for skin resurfacing, which can more closely mimic the results obtained from professionals.

The microdermabrasion device used by a spa technician or dermatologist works two ways. It softly sandblasts the outermost layer of the skin with microscopic crystals and then vacuums the used crystals and exfoliated skin cells to reveal a fresher, newer layer of skin. Though usually done on the face, any skin area can be treated. By gently abrading away the damaged cells, the skin is forced to regenerate by stimulating the production of collagen and pushing newer, healthier skin cells to the surface.

People with sensitive skin may want to consider treatments using a diamond-tip microdermabrasion device, which is a more natural mineral than traditionally used aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate micro-crystals and, therefore, less likely to irritate. Diamond tips may also be more suitable for those with allergies. Crystal microdermabrasion produces a lot of dust, and particles that may get into mouths, noses and eyes can stir allergy symptoms.

When using microdermabrasion for acne scars, it often is done in a series of treatments over the course of a few weeks or a few months, allowing the newest layer of skin to heal before the next treatment. This process gradually smoothes the surface of the skin with each succession and eventually reduces the texture of superficial acne scars. There is hardly any downtime, with the exception of slight stinging and redness for a few hours after the procedure.

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fBoyle
Post 3

@burcinc-- I'm not an expert on this topic but I've tried various different treatments for my acne scars including microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion actually has less side effects than some other treatments like chemical peels and laser resurfacing. At least, that has been the case for me. I too have gotten the procedure at a doctor's office and I think it's very important to work with an experienced and caring doctor. It's actually more important than the type of microdermabrasion used. Because if these procedures are done improperly, there can be negative consequences and complications.

I think the only downside to microdermabrasion that's done at a doctor's office is that it takes a while to heal. Some people have red, painful and irritated skin for up to a month afterward. My skin healed faster but it is a challenge to go through the recovery phase.

burcinc
Post 2

@candyquilt-- I agree with you. Those who want a true change need to go for the actual microdermabrasion procedure at a doctor's office.

It's actually difficult to decide whether to use microdermabrasion for acne scars because there are so many different review out there. Some people say it worked for them while others did not see a difference or found the procedure too painful with too many side effects. I'm also surprised by how the price of the procedure varies from one place to another considering that it's the same treatment.

candyquilt
Post 1

I used a home microdermabrasion kit for my acne scars last year. Unfortunately, the kit did not do anything, it just left my skin a little red and irritated. Home kits are cheap but if they're all as ineffective a the one I tried, they're really not worth it.

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