Reviews
2.4
89 Reviews
Good or Excellent Response
80%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Moderate Response
98%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Side Effects
High
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist or plastic surgeon? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find a dermatologist or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a plastic surgeon.
Read All About Dermabrasion
5
7.9%
4
19.1%
3
18%
2
16.9%
1
38.2%

Used Dermabrasion? Rate It:

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May 13, 2018
Lasers vs dermabrasion (what to expect)
I had dermabrasion 1994 and lasers 2006, 2014. Dermabrasion requires a very skilled surgeon. Think about it: it is a rotating wire brush so you want a good doc who can vary depth in areas. I was put to sleep before procedure. You wake up with a face that looks like strawberry jello because of the bacitracin ointment to help with healing and minimize scaring. Healing takes time but any procedure going deep takes time. From what I remember: you look hideous and sitting up you have to hold a paper towel under your chin because you drip. That bloody goo also gets on your pillowcase. I remembered all I wanted to do was sleep. I did not want to look in the mirror. But then with cystic acne it was the same. Constant application with bacitracin until the wet scabbing finished. I think I could cover with makeup after 2 weeks because I have never had more than 2 weeks vacation. I think I did dermabrasion over the TG holidays to add days off to vacation time. When my caregiver brought me home. I scared her three year old - you will look that bad. Very visible difference in skin surface. Worth it if your scarring is deeper in some areas. Lasers - I went deep with anesthesia. You wake up with a very bad sunburn, your face feels tight and looks reddish brown. Prior to procedure docs want you to prep with a regimen to include retin A which helps skin cell turnover to help you heal faster after. My regimen was Obaji which also helped bleach skin discoloration. After procedure you use a prescribed lidocaine ointment (BioKool) to help with pain and a moisturizer which you gently put on really thick while the burned skin crusts under the moisturizer. After three days you can shower and use a water-vinegar mix to clean and disinfect from a spray bottle, then the moisturizer again. The gentle shower pressure helps remove dead skin. You will start itching. You will see what looks like whiteheads: LEAVE THEM ALONE. Keep your hands off your face unless you are applying something. Entire process before you can use makeup and sunscreen to cover redness takes about 10 days. I saw more of a difference with dermabrasion because not all areas are treated equally as with lasers. The laser used the second time was the grid type which initially leaves a grid of "dots" on your face. This fades in a few days. I think this is the Fraxel laser. The ideas is to pull up the depressed areas when the "injured" lasered dots cause increased collagen production and pull up depressed-scarred areas around it. Recommended surgeon in Dallas is George Toledo. One plastic surgeon said the docs who invest in those laser machines encourage their use because they paid for them. Dermabrasion requires a skilled doc and is much messier with the bloody goo. If you are going to go through with either procedure might as well go deep and use anesthesia make it worth the time off and the money. Good luck.
February 15, 2018
If you are scared about this, you should be
My mom always did microdermabrasion more for aging stuff. I guess I just always saw her and thought it wouldn't be that bad. I have super bad scaring from years of acne, which until recently was as bad as ever. Pitted scars that even tons of makeup won't cover up and then the surface scars that I am really aware of as well. So first of all, the dr put me on retina-a for about 2 weeks leading up to the procedure but didn't tell me not to go in the sun, which I did and my skin turned BRIGHT red. like crazy tomato red. I called the dr and they said oops should have told you not to go in the sun and the procedure was put off for another week to let me poor burned skin heal a little. Which was a total bummer to my psyche. So aside from that, the procedure went ok, aside from being given a local which I am never a fan of. And did I mention that what this procedure is is like rubbing sand paper all over your skin? It isn't pretty. And is super scary to see happening. For that reason alone, I don't think I would do it again. Afterwards, my skin got inflamed and ultimately got a skin infection which caused me to go on antibiotics, two rounds, because one round couldn't heal it. So amazingly painful, I can't even put it into words. Healing from the procedure took about a year. I guess the pitted scars were better but still totally visible to me. And my acne was even worse than it had been before. The dr wanted to put me on accutane which has always been my big fat no. When I told them this, they told me that one of their clients had good success with a company called Ninja Skincare. Pretty desperate cause I hadn't heard of them before so I put it off for a while but right near Christmas, I was feeling pretty terrible about myself and called them. So super professional, gave me a cool consultation which wasn't pushy at all which is super important to me. Told me what they would suggest and let it be. Took me another 2 weeks to make the order. Now I have been on it for about 5 weeks and I can't believe how clear my skin is. My dark scaring that was left over from the dermabrasion are fading and I swear it is because of this product not because of the dermabrasion because the dermabrasion was nearly 14 months ago. I would recommend people to think twice about doing this. I read somewhere the best thing to do for acne scars is to not get them. Sounds simple but I sure wish I had been more aggressive in my teen years and found my perfect solution like I have now'and I would never have had to do this awful experience to myself.
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September 16, 2016
made thinks worse, downtime huge, 6 months
I tried this in my 20s. It created much more scars and the downtime was huge. Not just 3 weeks, but at least 6 months to return to normal evels. never again
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January 10, 2017
where did u have this done ?
October 16, 2014
Had 2 Dermabrasion... Life changing for me
Hi! I use to be here years & years ago more like just lurking/ researching... I had 2 Dermabrasions and for me it is life changing but it is also true that d recovery takes forever it is not true that u will be presentable or look normal after a few weeks or a few months ...In my exp it took me 10-12 months to really look like normal normal... Redness, sudden blushing red face, whiter than white face... But it was worthit for me that's why I did it d 2nd time... But honestly took almost 2 yrs of my social like hahaha ... I'll say 40-45% improvement each time. I've tried all previous fraxels except repair and every other new laser in town b4= 0 or temporary improvement reason I've missed on d latest lasers... needling and saline injections= regretted it I think made it worse....So I swear off laser then bec even friends who had Fraxel repair din't see noticable improvement after several months.....Im guilty that I am one of those who disappeared after getting great results, sorry ... Sudden boost of confidence makes u wanna catch up on lost life due to insecurities:(... I had moderate ice pick & boxcar scars....why I am back? Well I was researching about other stuff in realself and chanced upon Mixto laser that lead me back here and then got engrossed reading , then this. My skin actually looks pretty good and people wld casually comment that I have beautiful skin or co- workers everywhere asks abt my skin regimen etc... But As many of u can relate even if your skin got so so much better u will always be a scarred kid at heart and I know and still can see/find my scars up close in the mirror... Maybe I am really fair and have excellent skin care so people looking at me and not really microscoping thinks I have beautiful skin... No it is not BDD but I still have scars but to the point that I can live with it esp with make-up but after being more open minded again abt lasers I decided to give Mixto a try hvnt done it yet at this time.... Consultation on monday :)..... i am a light skinned southeast asian gal... Oh and another negative is on my 2nd dermabrasion i got some tiny negligible white scars...
September 28, 2015
how did the Mixto work out for you???
September 28, 2015
how did the Mixto work out for you???
March 9, 2017
how the result of your scar?
August 29, 2014
Dermabrasion
This is the most effective. Only one procedure and it erased all my scars. I had it at the age of 21 and was performed by a very good surgeon---had the most perfect complexion afterwards. The only negative is the downtime--it takes a month to recover. Otherwise, you can use concealer during the stage of hypo pigmentation and it works out well. Looks like you have slightly rosy cheeks then returns back to original color after 3-4 months. Now that I'm 30, because of aging I can see the scars again but for nine years I've had very good skin. So I'm looking at having a second dermabrasion soon. I'm skeptical about these lasers because you may not have the downtime but you need more frequent treatments and you end up spending more money and require more maintenance. I also think that you need to get a very experienced facial surgeon, one who has done not only aesthetic surgery but the ones who work in hospitals for facial reconstruction. I never had a complication whatsoever. I see online some horror stories but I think it's because of the surgeon, maybe wasn't that good. One of the best decisions that I did in my life.
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March 27, 2016
Hi Dominique01, did you have the 2nd dermabrasion? How was your results? and who was the doctor? thanks
July 15, 2013
Dermabrasion review
Dermabrasion is a treatment option for those not looking for a fast track help all solution. In order for this treatment to work you have to do several sessions, each one potentially making your acne worse and your skin increasingly more irritated. I was able to do about 3 sessions due to financial reasons and at first i did not see any huge results in my overall skin complexion, texture, and acne breakouts. During my second sessions my skin was the most sensitive was bright red after treatment. I was unable to even touch my face after a few days but the redness and swelling went down about 2 days into it. On my third session (my last treatment) i noticed a slight change of the look and feel of my skin. My skin was able to tolerate the session and was less red and irritated after. Having said all that, if i had done all the treatments suggested by the doctor than i may have seen a significant change in my skin. I give this treatment 3 stars because i do believe that it does work and have witnessed it on other people, just not myself. It is worth a try if you are looking for a last resort treatment option besides Accutane.
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September 1, 2012

Pros:

Major improvement on shallow scars, some improvement on deeper scars, removes discoloration from acne scars, evens out skin tone.

Cons:

Down time (you won't be able to be seen in public for awhile)

It's disappointing to read the reviews here on dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is actually one of the best ways to deal with acne scars, but it depends on the surgeon's SKILL. The doctor can't go too deep, or it will not look right, or not deep enough, or there will not be much difference. A huge part of how a dermabrasion turns out is the way the patient takes care of skin immediately after the dermabrasion. I keep reading about the skin scabbing afterward, the skin is not supposed to scab! It won't scab if it is kept bandaged for around 5 days with a thin layer of a vaseline-type product like Aquaphor or Etna Cream, HYDROGEL bandages, not regular ones, Tefla on top of that, and hold it all together with surgical tape. This dressing should be changed daily for 5 days. The hydrogel bandages are expensive, but they will keep your skin moist, and it has to stay moist at all times or it will scab and sometimes scar! After the first 24 hours, remove the badages and spray some wound cleanser on it, and do a vinegar soak. Google how to do this. It's soothing and will help the skin not scab or scar. Replace the dressings after the vinegar soak. After five days, you no longer need to use the dressing, but still, KEEP YOUR SKIN MOIST AT ALL TIMES with Aquaphor or Etna Cream. You will need alot of it. Once your skin heals, you can stop and just go back to regular moisturizer. Some people think they will just need one dermabrasion and their faces will be fixed. If your scarring is severe, this is WRONG. Ice picks scars won't improve much if at all, and deeper scars will only show some improvement. You will need other treatments, either more dermabrasions, subcison, punches, fat transfer, or filler of some sort to fill in your scars. I personally suggest subcision or punches first, THEN dermabarsion, then fillers. This seems to get the best results. Of course, there will always be people who are never satisfied. Deeply scarred skin will never be perfect, it can only be improve
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April 7, 2017
Who was your Dermabrasion Doctor?
July 30, 2011

Pros:

NONE!!!

Cons:

Scarred my face even worse and caused me to now have "Melasma" or hyperpigmentation!

If your doctor has recommended dermabrasion for acne scarring or as in my case, scarring from auto accident/acne please don't do it!! I only wish that I could go back in time and I would have ran away from his office! I have since had to pay another $2,000 to have laser resurfacing just to try to undo the damage from the dermabrasion! I now look like I have dark brown dirt on my face which is highlighting the scars! This was caused by the procedure as well! I do however recommend the laser resurfacing, it has made a remarkable difference in my scarring and had I originally went with the laser, as I wanted to, I probably would have nice skin right now!! However, I allowed the doctor to talk me in to the dermabrasion instead. Please don't ruin your face too!!! Because you can never go back!!
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Anonymous
November 11, 2010

Pros:

None. I did not get any discoloration would be a pro, I suppose.

Cons:

Made scarring worse; This procedure should NEVER be recommended for removal of ice pick acne scars. The small wire bristles get into the ice pick scars and literally rip them open, or at least, that's what it looks like happened. Before the procedure I looked like I had acne scarring. Now I look like I've been in a car wreck or clawed by an animal.

This procedure is not recommended for acne scars. Plus it makes all your pores larger. Don't do it.
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October 31, 2010

Pros:

Slightly tighter skin, scars are less deep. minimal pain. i hv asian skin, and did not ecperience hyper/hypo pigmentation.

Cons:

2 weeks of downtime. Face looked disgusting afterward. Once the swelling went down, ALL scars-even shallow ones-were still visible. Procedure caused a major break out. Skin is very sensitive. Procedure was expensive.

I did see slight improvement and am told that w/ more treatments i can get to a satisfactory point, but at what expense-I don't know. I expected my shallow scars to be gone, and the deeper ones to look better-instead...all the scars are still visible, with slight improvement...needless to say, i'm very dissappointed. dr says after time, my scars will improve. he also says more treatments may be necessary. i'm jus over 2 months post op.
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.