Microdermabrasion

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Does microdermabrasion help with acne scars?

Microdermabrasion may be very useful for people with active acne, mild acne discoloration, pick marks, and very superficial or raised acne scars. Dermatologists use microdermabrasion to help unclog pores and clear acne. Often used in combination with gentle glycolic peels and medical acne extractions, microderm can help speed up acne clearing.

Individuals with deeper acne scars might be candidates for surgical dermabrasion or laser resurfacing.

Can microdermabrasion help with melasma?

Yes, microderm can be helpful in treating melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation. Optimal melasma treatment might typically include biweekly or monthly microderm combined with glycolic acid peels, fading creams like hydroquinone 4%, and daily sunscreens. Multiple treatments in combination with sunscreen and sun avoidance and other creams help yield best results, although permanent improvement is not to be expected.

Does medical insurance pay for microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is almost always considered cosmetic and not covered by traditional medical insurance companies. Since microderm is often used to treat medical conditions like acne, acne scarring, melasma, and keratosis pilaris, it may be possible to deduct some costs as medical expenses. In appropriate cases, payment options may include using benefits of plans like health savings accounts (HSA) or health remittance accounts (HRA) to pay for microderm. You will want to check the specific benefits and provisions of your plan and also review your tax deductions with a tax professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/11/2015

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