Dermabrasion vs Laser Resurfacing

It is common for patients to desire an improved skin appearance, however, they may not willing to undergo invasive surgical procedures including a facelift. Microdermabrasion and huntersville laser skin resurfacing are both non-surgical skin treatments which can aid in achieving more youthful skin. While these procedures work to address similar issues, they differ in areas such as who is a good candidate, the treatment duration, and recovery. The article below will compare microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing, however it is important to discuss your options with your dermatologist to determine which solution is best.

Microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing procedures both work by exfoliating the top layers of the skin. This encourages the added production of collagen. Other similarities between the treatments include the following:

  • Incisions are not required
  • Non-surgical
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, and signs of aging

For many patients, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing treatments work to reveal smoother, more youthful skin after a single appointment. Although your doctor may suggest multiple sessions in order to achieve the desired results.

While the procedures have similar outcomes, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing do have differences. More specifically, the procedures have distinct requirements for treatment candidates. In addition, they offer different timelines for the treatment.

Microdermabrasion is safe to be used on all skin types. This includes skin which is highly sensitive. Because microdermabrasion is a more mild procedure, it is not effective in correcting more severe skin issues. Laser skin resurfacing is a better option for patients with more advanced issues such as extensive scarring or extreme discoloration. Patients who have darker skin tones are typically considered better candidates for microdermabrasion, as laser therapy can result in hyperpigmentation.

One important thing to consider is that patients who easily scar or are prone to keloids, may not be a candidate for either procedure. In this case, alternative treatments which are less invasive, such as a chemical peel, may be a good option.

Treatment Timeline

Microdermabrasion is typically completed in less than an hour. The timeline for laser skin resurfacing sessions, however, depend on the severity of the area undergoing treatment. While partial laser skin resurfacing procedures can take just 30-45 minutes, more advanced treatments may take a few hours to complete.

Non-invasive and non-chemical microdermabrasion works by exfoliating the skin through a stream of microcrystals. The dead skin cells are removed using a gentle suction.

Laser skin resurfacing uses light energy in order to break down the bonds between damaged skin cells and reveals smoother skin below. In addition, the laser stimulates the growth of new skin cells.

Microdermabrasion is able to be completed with little to no discomfort. In most cases, patients report only feeling a slight tingling sensation while the treatment is performed. Laser skin resurfacing, however, is more intense and may result in more pain. The discomfort can be reduced through the use of a local anesthesia. Patients may also opt for an oral sedative to ensure they remain comfortable during the procedure.


Immediately following microdermabrasion, patients may feel a sensation of slight stinging. There should be little to no discomfort once the treatment is complete. Any redness which occurs should be gone within a few hours. In comparison, the recovery following laser skin resurfacing can vary drastically based on the extent of the treatment. Some patients require little to no downtime, while other patients require weeks to completely recover.

You may be a good candidate for skin rejuvenation procedures if you desire more youthful, radiant skin. Microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing are two great options for patients who are looking to improve the appearance of their skin. Follow up with your dermatologist to determine if you are a good candidate for these skin rejuvenation treatment options.

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