Acne Scar Treatment – Dermabrasion

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Originally published on AEDIT.

Dermabrasion is a skin resurfacing treatment that physically scrapes away the scars caused by acne. This technique has been compared to an aggressive “sanding” away of skin.


Acne Scar Treatment – Dermabrasion

COST$1100 – $4000

About the Procedure

Dermabrasion is a procedure used to resurface scarred, uneven, or irregularly pigmented skin caused by severe acne to reveal smooth, radiant skin underneath. Dermabrasion is similar to microdermabrasion in that a hand piece is used to physically abrade the skin but is much more aggressive. This procedure will yield similar results to a deep chemical peel or multiple fractional ablative skin resurfacing treatments. While these procedures result in long lasting, dramatic changes in the skin’s texture and appearance, they are also associated with extended recovery times which can make less invasive treatments such as microneedling or dermal fillers more appealing even though the outcomes will not last as long or be as successful.

Before dermabrasion, the skin will be cleansed and anesthesia applied. Depending on the size and severity of the area to be treated, your provider will recommend either local or general anesthesia. Once thoroughly anesthetized, the treatment will begin. The skin will be held taut and the dermabrasion hand piece, which is a small, motorized device with an abrasive wheel or brush for a tip which exfoliates the skin, will be moved across the skin with a constant, gentle pressure. Outer layers of skin will be removed to reveal new, smoother skin. Treatment sessions can last for a few minutes or take more than an hour but will depend on the individual’s skin condition and area size. Significant results can be attained in one session but treatment areas may be divided into separate sessions depending on the tolerance of the patient.

The goal of a dermabrasion procedure is to address skin imperfections by reducing the appearance of scars caused by acne.


Acne Scar Treatment – Dermabrasion addresses concerns such as:

What to expect

Dermabrasion is a skin resurfacing technique that improves the appearance of scarred and aging skin. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after treatment with dermabrasion.

Before Dermabrasion

  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Stop taking blood thinners
  • Stop smoking 4 weeks prior
  • You may be prescribed an antiviral, antibiotic, and retinoid cream

Immediately After Dermabrasion

  • Treated skin will be covered with a dressing
  • Skin will appear red and swollen
  • Eating and speaking may be difficult
  • Tingling, burning, or aching sensations are normal

2 Weeks After Dermabrasion

  • Treated skin will be covered with a dressing
  • Skin will appear red and swollen
  • Eating and speaking may be difficult
  • Tingling, burning, or aching sensations are normal

4-6 Weeks After Dermabrasion

  • Keep treated areas away from chlorinated water
  • Still avoid active contact sports
  • Skin will still appear slightly pink but is easily concealed with makeup

3 Months After Dermabrasion and Beyond

  • Treated areas will be fully healed
  • Skin should have a normal pigment
  • Continue to protect treated skin for 6-12 months to avoid irregular pigmentation

Recovery Notes

Redness and swelling initially, eating and speaking may be difficult. Within a few days to a week the swelling will subside. Skin will scab over and slough off. Most likely you will be advised to avoid anything that can bump your face for 2 weeks and can generally resume work within 2 weeks. Instructions will include avoiding the sun and skin protection instructions will be given by the doctor.

Ideal Candidate

Candidates of all ages are able to get a dermabrasion treatment. Older candidates may heal slower and darker complexions may develop skin discoloration or blotchiness. People who develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, or who get frequent fever blisters or cold sores, may experience a flare-up. If you have freckles, they may disappear in the treated area.

Not Recommended For

Dermabrasion is not recommended to keratosis sufferers, people with undiagnosed lesions, active rosacea or acne, fragile capillaries, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or lupus.

Side Effects

Side effects from dermabrasion for acne scarring may include erythema and swelling, changes in pigmentation, temporary development of milia, changes in pore size, and rarely infection or scarring.

Dermabrasion – Pros

  • Improved Scars
  • Scar Treatment
  • Long Lasting

Dermabrasion – Cons

  • Skin Irritation
  • Scarring
  • Skin Color May Change
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Blotchy Skin
  • Sun Sensitivity

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Acne Scar Treatment ̵…

by AEDIT time to read: 3 min