Should I consult a dermatologist before home microdermabrasion for acne scars?

Doctor's Answers (4)


PMD Device are at home microdermabrasion devices designed to remove stratum corneum or “dead skin” that is at the top most surface of our skin. There should not be downtime or damage to underlying healthy skin.

Microdermabrasion can be done to brighten dull skin tone and improve penetration of skin care products. In clinic, we routinely include microdermabrasion in our facial protocols but our devices are medical grade machines with higher power to achieve better deep cleansing and penetration of our medical grade skin care ampoules. Microdermabrasion DOES not treat deep acne scars.

We should not confuse dermabrasion with microdermabrasion.

Dermabrasion is a thorough stripping of superficial layers of skin whilst patient is completely sedated. There is a long recovery method and its done for complete skin rejuvenation and acne scar removal. It is rarely done in practice today due to the morbidities of the procedure.

For acne scars, there are many available treatments today.

For non-invasive/no downtime scar treatment, we use the Focus array lens ™ on the Picosure system to improve scarring. One can see improvement of acne scars even after 1-2 sessions.

Resurfacing lasers include fractional CO2/thulium/erbium lasers. You can expect 5-7 days of redness and scabbing and 3-5 sessions are required for improvement of acne scars.

For very deep scars such as box scars and ice pick scars, it may be better to do subcision with needle for greater improvement of the appearance of scars.

Acne scars can be treated successfully; though not with microdermabrasion.

Hi Aaron – home microdermabrasion kits that are sold online can be suspect in terms of effectiveness, and can sometimes cause more harm than good in the hands of someone who is unfamiliar with it’s usage (broken capillaries, scarring, pigmentation problems, infection, pitting of the skin etc).

It can be a useful adjunct (meaning to complement the therapy you receive from your doctor) in certain situations, all of which require you to visit a doctor first for assessment and initial treatment.

You didn’t mention what you wanted microdermabrasion for – if it’s just for skin turn over/rejuvenation, some topical products can work as well, eg.

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Beta hydroxy acids
  • Vitamin A (retinals/retinaldyhydes,retin-A, etc.)

If you intend it to treat acne scars, then I’d definitely recommend having the treatment at a dermatologist instead, as he will be able to provide a much more customised and effective solution for your skin type.

Even if you are adamant at DIYing at home, it’s still a good idea to bring your device down to let your doctor have a look at it, as well as to familiarise yourself with the process of microdermabrasion via a couple of doctor-performed sessions first.


Home microdermabrasion kits serve the purpose of simple facial rejuvenation through removal of dead skin and surface impurities. It is a safe and zero downtime treatment and helps with giving you cleaner and clearer skin. There are many such products in the market and as mentioned, results may vary and buyers beware.

But if your aim is to improve acne scarring, then this will not be sufficient.

There are many forms of acne scarring. Management is geared towards controlling acne and improving collagen stimulation. Hope this helps.

Microdermabrasion devices are used to remove the upper most layer of the skin.

In so doing, it removes dead skin cells, surface impurities and helps prevent clogging.

Additionally, it does brighten up the skin as well.

It is considered a superficial treatment and is generally safe.

Hope that helps!

All the best.

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