Cosmetic Procedures

If you are looking to rejuvenate your skin without downtime, you may want to consider microdermabrasion. This resurfacing procedure gently exfoliates, revealing skin that is smoother, brighter, and more even in tone.

Signs of Aging Treated

  • Age spots and patches of darker skin

  • Dullness that develops in aging skin

  • Scars, can smooth very shallow scars

  • Shallow wrinkles

  • Uneven skin tone or texture

The microdermabrasion procedure performed in a dermatologist’s office may be used to treat signs of aging on the face, neck, chest, and hands.

Your dermatologist may suggest microdermabrasion to improve the results seen from using topical (applied to the skin) anti-aging therapy. Microdermabrasion allows topical medication to more easily penetrate the skin, which makes topicals more effective.

What Happens During Microdermabrasion?
If you are considering microdermabrasion and want to know what would happen if you underwent this procedure, visit Microdermabrasion: What
to Expect Before, During, and After

When See Results from Microdermabrasion
It is rare for a single microdermabrasion treatment to significantly reduce signs of aging. Results are seen after a series of treatments, which may be performed every week or every other week. Typically, between 5 and 16 sessions are needed to diminish signs of aging.

Recent medical studies have shown that microdermabrasion causes the skin to produce new collagen — a process that your dermatologist may call collagen remodeling. Collagen, which diminishes with age, acts as a supporting structure for the skin.

While this sounds encouraging, it is important to realize that the improvement seen after microdermabrasion tends to be modest. Because microdermabrasion does not deeply penetrate the skin, it cannot produce the results seen after a skin resurfacing procedure that penetrates more deeply such as dermabrasion.

Most people report smoother-feeling skin and a more radiant complexion. Makeup may be easier to apply. With a series of microdermabrasion treatments performed by a dermatologist, who can offer more aggressive treatment than a spa or an at-home kit, fine wrinkles and darker patches of skin may be diminished. Scars that are shallow also can be effectively treated.

Possible Side Effects
These are temporary. Some people experience bruising, a burning or stinging sensation, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, or pain. These will go away without treatment.

How Long Results Last
By avoiding the sun and following the recommended skin-care plan, some people keep the age spots and fine wrinkles from returning for years. But, aging is a continual process. Follow-up treatments are usually necessary to help retain smoother skin and a more radiant complexion.

Related Links
10 Questions to Ask Before a Cosmetic Procedure
Facial Skin Rejuvenation (AAD pamphlet)

Karimipour DJ, Kang S, Johnson TM et al. Microdermabrasion with and without aluminum oxide crystal abrasion: a comparative molecular analysis of dermal remodeling. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006; 54: 405-10. 

Karimipour DJ, Kang S, Johnson TM et al. Microdermabrasion: a molecular analysis following a single treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005; 52: 215-23.

Monheit GD and Chastain MA. “Chemcial and Mechanical Skin Resurfacing.” In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP et al, editors. Dermatology. 2nd edition. Spain, Mosby Elsevier; 2008. p. 2322-3.

Rivera AE. “Acne scarring: A review and current treatment modalities.” J Am Acad Dermatol article in press; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.05.029.

Tsao SS, Dover JS, Arndt KA et al. “Scar Management: Keloid, Hypertrophic, Atrophic, and Acne Scars.” In: Kaminer MS, Dover JS, Arndt KA, editors. Atlas of Cosmetic Surgery. United States of America, W. B. Saunders Company; 2002. p. 443.

Whitaker E. “Microdermabrasion.” eMedicine. Available at:  Last accessed September 12, 2008.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The results seen after microdermabrasion performed by a dermatologist will be more visible than the results possible with an at-home microdermabrasion kit.





© American Academy of Dermatology, 2010  All rights reserved.
Page last updated 10/8/08

Disclaimer            Copyright Information