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Microdermabrasion- Will it help your acne scars?

Updated on April 16, 2011
Microdermabrasion treatment
Microdermabrasion treatment


Microdermabrasion is a process in which tiny rough grains or crystals are used to buff away the surface layer of the skin. Microdermabrasion actually targets the outermost layer of the skin (the stratum corneum) where the superficial acne scars reside.

Before understanding what microdermabrasion can do to reduce your acne scarring, it is important that you initially understand the structure of the outer layers of skin- the epidermis and the dermis.

Your Skin

Crossection of skin
Crossection of skin

The Epidermis

The epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin. Its thickness varies from 0.05mm to 1.5mm according to its location on your body. It is made up of dead skin cells on top of maturing skin cells. The layer of dead skin cells is called the STRATUM CORNEUM. This layer is somewhat permeable and allows moisture from creams and lotions to pass through it.

It is within this layer that minor imperfections, such as acne blemishes and wrinkle lines occur.

The Dermis

The dermis is the layer of skin below the epidermis. This layer also varies in thickness according to its location on the body- 0.3mm to3.0mm.

The dermis is composed of 3 types of tissue:-

  • Collagen
  • Elastic Tissue
  • Reticular fibers

The upper layer of the dermis called the papillary layer contains a thin arrangement of collagen fibers. The lower layer of the dermis called the reticular layer, is thicker than the papillary layer and is made of thicker collagen fibers.

It is within the dermis that hair follicles and sebaceous glands reside. Nerves that transmit the sensations of pain, itch, temperature, touch and pressure are also found in this layer of skin.


Now that you have a better understanding of human skin structure, you will be able to quickly comprehend what causes acne.

Hormonal changes

During puberty, or times of stress, adrenal glands produce increased levels of hormones; and this in turn causes enlargement of the sebaceous glands, also known as “oil glands”. The increased hormonal levels also lead to stimulation of the sebaceous glands to produce more oil (also known as sebum). This oil then flows to the surface of the skin forming pimples.


Skin inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system acts to get rid of foreign substances. Pimples are formed when oil, dead skin cells and bacteria from the surface of the skin enter the skin. This irritates the skin and forms small inflamed areas. Inflamed skin is usually characterized by swelling, redness and discomfort.


Microdermabrasion is recommended for patients with mild acne scarring . It is not effective on deep acne scars . After about 6 microdermabrasion procedures one will see improvement to the overall complexion of the face, and mild imperfections will be removed.

If one wishes to improve scarring deeper than 10-15 microns, dermabrasion is recommended instead of microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion improves deep wrinkles, scars, legions and hyperpigmentation.

People usually opt for microdermabrasion however, because the recovery time is shorter, it is a more convenient procedure and it is much less expensive. Also, microdermabrasion kits are now also available for home-use.


  • Thinner skin
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Itching
  • Dry skin


In doctor’s offices, beauty centers and spas, microdermabrasion costs around $70 to $300 per procedure. A minimum of 10 procedures is usually recommended for noticeable results to be seen.

Home- care microdermabrasion kits can cost from $20 to $100 according to the brand, microdermabrasion tool, and type of grains or crystals used in the kit.

If you opt for dermabrasion instead of microdermabrasion, the cost will be between $1,500 and $4,000 depending on the size and depth of peeling.


  • Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel Kit by Olay
  • St. Ives Timeless Skin Daily Microdermabrasion by St. Ives
  • Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub by Derma E




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    • profile image

      Teiya 2 years ago

      Super jazzed about getting that knwh-oow.

    • profile image

      Malinda 2 years ago

      That's an inventive answer to an inrtetseing question

    • gis_r07 profile image

      gis_r07 6 years ago from Boston, MA

      Thanks for stopping by zoey24- much appreciated.

    • zoey24 profile image

      zoey24 6 years ago from South England

      I found you're hub very interesting and informative. Thank you for sharing, voted up and useful :)