Microdermabrasion resurfaces the upper layers of skin.

Microdermabrasion resurfaces the upper layers of skin, and can give a temporary improvement of acne scars and skin texture. Specialists have replaced this procedure with laser treatments, chemical peels, and most recently with RadioFrequency as these treatments are more effective.

Microdermabrasion has minimal effects on collagen stimulation and remodelling, whilst newer technologies can have a permanent solution for acne scarring.


  • This treatment exfoliates the upper layers of the skin
  • Temporary improvement of very mild acne scars can be seen after several treatments
  • Microdermabrasion can also treat blackhead and whiteheads
  • Specialist have replaced this procedure with chemical peels ,laser treatments and RadioFrequency as the results from these treatments can be permanent
  • Chemical peels are superior to microdermabrasion as peels can be tailored to individual skin types and concentrations. Chemical peels can also stimulate and remodel collagen


Microdermabrasion is a time-tested technique of gently resurfacing the upper layers of the skin with minimal downtime and side effects. It can be an effective treatment for blackhead, whiteheads and very mild acne scarring. For lasting results, microdermabrasion will need to be performed at regular intervals.

The procedure involves the use of a diamond-coated head and a vacuum extractor applied to the skin’s surface. This combination is passed over the skin’s surface repetitively. Treatments are painless, and take about an hour to perform.  Microdermabrasion crystals are used in older machines.

Microdermabrasion can improve certain types of acne including blackheads and whiteheads. It can also temporarily even skin texture and fine wrinkles. It has minimal effects on acne scars.

Microdermabrasion can also improve skin texture to a certain degree, and can help even out minor skin irregularities.

Microdermabrasion has minimal effects on acne scarring as this procedure only removes the superficial layers of the skin. Acne scars lie deep in the dermal layers of the skin, 40-60 times the depth of where microdermabrasion works. In some patients a temporary perceived improvement is seen in acne scarring- this is due to the temporary improvement in skin texture.

In order to permanent remove acne scars, treatments need to be concentrated in the dermal layers, or new collagen needs to be stimulated. This is the basis behind acne scar treatment.

The effects of microdermabrasion on acne scarring are usually minimal and temporary. Acne scars lie deep under the surface of the skin, whilst microdermabrasion only treats the very superficial layers of the skin’s surface. For this reason we have replaced microdermabrasion with chemical peels, laser treatments, and most recently a treatment known as RadioFrequency or RF.

Yes. Laser treatments are much more effective than microdermabrasion. Laser treatment of acne scars can direct treatment at the mid layer of the skin, where scars form. Microdermabrasion only treats the very superficial layers of the skin. If a more superficial treatment is needed, we use a Microlaser peel to achieve the desired depth. For deeper scarring we may elect to use a new non-laser based treatment called RadioFrequency. This treatment is ideal for deeper scars. For even deeper scarring, we may suggest Fractional Laser treatment.

It is important to remember that acne scars lie beneath your skin, whilst microdermabrasion treats the upper layers of the skin.

Specialists believe that chemical peeling, in the correct concentrations and application techniques are more effective than microdermabrasion. Chemical peels are quicker to perform and most importantly have been shown to stimulate collagen production- a crucial step for acne scar revision. In many cases a glycolic acid peel costs less than microdermabrasion.  For more severe acne scars, the use of laser treatments or RadioFrequency is more effective than both chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

Our Specialists will guide you as to which is the most effective treatment for your type of acne scarring.

Treatment - acne scars Average treatment cost Treatment time Effects on acne scars Down time
Microdermabrasion $130 - $160 1 hour+ Minimal and short lived 12 hours
Chemical peels $95 15 minutes Can be long lived Minimal- 1 to 2 hours
Radiofrequency $230 15 minutes Indefinite 1-2 days
Fractional laser $750 - $1200 30 minutes Indefinite 3-6 days

No comparison. Microdermabrasion is a superficial treatment that targets the upper layers of the skin, whilst RadioFrequency or RF treatments target the deeper layers of the skin where acne scars lie. This new form of non-laser treatment breaks down the scars that lie deep beneath your skin’s surface. Downtime after RF treatment is only a day of two. RadioFrequency wins hands down every time.

$490 per treatment  (2-4 advised)

Treatment Cost
Chemical peels $95 per peel  (4-6 advised)
Microlaser peels
Fractional laser treatments $750 - $990 (2-4 advised)
RadioFrequency treatments $920 for 4 treatments
Radiant skin program $1290 (includes 3 Fractional lasers and chemical peel package)
Treatment Treatment time Number of treatments needed Downtime Ideal scar severity Projected scar improvement Costs
Micordermabrasion 60 min 6-8 12 hours Very mild scarring Minimal and temporary $130 - $160
Chemical peels 15 min 4-6 Hours Mild + $95
RF RadioFrequency 15 min 4 0-2 days Mild to severe +++ $1100 for 4
Fractional laser 30 min 3-5 3-6 days Mild to severe ++++ $750 - $1200
TCA cross 30 min 2-3 5-7  days Mod to severe ++++ $490 - $900
Synergy Program 15 - 60 min 3-7 1-12 days Mod to severe +++++ $3500 - $7800

Laser and cosmetic dermatologist are trained to assess and treat all aspects of skin problems including pigmentation, wrinkles, and acne scars. Additionally, our extensive experience in many types of procedures such as laser work, chemical peels and surgery gives us a multi-treatment approach to individualize treatments based upon your condition.

We combine our training, expertise and the very latest in laser technology to give safe and effective results.

The first step can be a daunting process for many patients. Our Specialist will assess your acne scars and provide solutions based upon individual assessment. Rest assured, the experience, training and equipment used at the Acne Specialist Clinics at Westside Laser Dermatology will ensure the best possible outcomes for all our patients.

Call us directly on 07 3871 3437 to make an appointment, or to discuss issues regarding the referral process.

Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist
Acne Specialist Clinic,
Westside Dermatology Group

We have replaced microdermabrasion with more cost effective and more effective treatments. Sure, microdermabrasion had a role in the management of scars and skin texture in the 80’s. The progress of laser and radiofrequency technology over the past few years has provided patients with a more accurate and effective means of treating acne scars and pigmentation.  A series of prescribed chemical peels, fractional laser or radiofrequency will yield better results with a cost saving for the client compared to microdermabrasion.

Acne scars lie in the dermis, or the deeper layer of the skin, whilst microdermabrasion only treats the very most superficial layer of the skin. In fact the depth of microdermabrasion is equal to 5-10 microns at most. This depth only removes the top 5-10% of the epidermis, acne scars lie at least 50 times deeper than this. In some patients, a temporary improvement is noted in acne scarring that last a few weeks- this is due to improved light reflectance on the skin, and not due to collagen remodelling.