3 Ways to Avoid Developing Acne After Microdermabrasion Treatments

Microdermabrasion is one of the most versatile cosmetic treatments ever developed. This skin rejuvenation treatment can correct hyperpigmentation, rough skin, acne scars, and even acne. However, sometimes a funny thing happens with microdermabrasion: You end up with more acne.

This pimple disorder does not have to happen. With a little planning, you can select the right microdermabrasion therapy for your skin type and greatly reduce your chances of experiencing post-microdermabrasion acne.

1. Match the degree of microdermabrasion treatment to your skin type

The first step in receiving a microdermabrasion treatment is deciding what type of treatment you need. Here is a general rating system for selecting your microdermabrasion treatment:

The higher the level of oil in your skin and the larger your pores, the higher the degree of microdermabrasion you can handle. Similarly, if you have smooth skin, with relatively small pores and minimal oil secretion, you’ll want a gentler form of microdermabrasion that uses less pressure.

If you are applying microdermabrasion treatment yourself, adjust the level of pressure you apply to your skin based on the size of your skin’s pores and the level of oil secretion from your skin.

2. Prepare your skin to eliminate comedones

A primary function of microdermabrasion is to remove the top layers of skin to reveal a fresher dermis with fewer blemishes. Since microdermabrasion removes the top layers of the skin, it also disturbs and exposes comedones. Comedones are round plugs of hardened or crystallized oils, grease, and cellular debris trapped in the pores. Under the right circumstances, comedones can become inflamed and become acne lesions.

If you have skin comedones, you can remove them by extraction or allow the skin to shed daily to bring the comedone to the skin’s surface. Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive way to encourage comedones to rise to the skin’s surface faster and does not involve piercing the skin to remove trapped debris.

Before undergoing a microdermabrasion treatment, it’s easy to assess your skin’s level of comedones. Run your hand over the skin and feel for small bumps under the skin. These bumps represent possible comedones. With repeated microdermabrasion treatments, these comedones will rise to the skin’s surface where they can flake off or peel away from the skin.

If you have comedones, space your microdermabrasion treatments at least three days apart to give your skin time to calm down after each treatment and to minimize irritation from comedones.

3. Take care of your skin after microdermabrasion treatment

After a microdermabrasion treatment, you drastically change the ecology of your skin’s surface. It removes bacteria, oils and skin cells whose main job is to protect against microbial attacks and environmental elements such as ultraviolet radiation.

This makes protecting your skin after microdermabrasion a must. The first thing you need is a moisturizer to apply to the skin after the microdermabrasion treatment. The moisturizer should not contain foreign acids like glycolic or retinol because your skin will most likely be slightly inflamed and sensitive after a microdermabrasion treatment.

Use a moisturizer designed for sensitive skin like Eucerin. This moisturizer is affordable, won’t clog pores, comes with sunscreen, and is available at most drug stores.

Then, be sure to use a sunscreen after your microdermabrasion treatment to mitigate sun sensitivity. Sun sensitivity can also cause the skin to develop small bumps as an immune response to sun exposure. If necessary, wear a hat to protect your skin from the sun after a microdermabrasion treatment.

Avoiding unwanted blackheads after your microdermabrasion treatment is just a matter of planning and protecting your skin after treatment. By properly preparing for skin resurfacing and adjusting the degree of microdermabrasion and treatment times based on your skin’s condition, you will keep the number of breakouts to a minimum.


Gonzalez-Serva, Aldo & George Kroumpouzos. Demonstration of polarizable crystals in extracts of fresh comedones: sebum crystallizes. Dermato-Venereological Act; November 2004, vol 84, no 6, pp 418-421.

Lloyd, Jenifer R. The use of microdermabrasion for acne: a pilot study. Dermatological Surgery; April 2001, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 329-331.

Shim, Elisabeth K; David Barnette, Kathi Hughes, and Hubert T. Greenway. Microdermabrasion: a clinical and histopathological study. Dermatological Surgery; June 2001, vol 27, no 6, pp 524-530.

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