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Is skin resurfacing the same as microdermabrasion?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Microdermabrasion is a type of skin resurfacing in which tiny crystals polish off the top layer of skin.  Watch the animation to learn more about microdermabrasion.


Microdermabrasion is one form of skin resurfacing. All types of resurfacing remove the outer surface of your skin -- including shallow scars, wrinkles, and age spots -- and expose fresher layers underneath. In microdermabrasion, the practitioner uses a handheld device to spray fine particles onto your face and vacuum them away. Other types of resurfacing include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peeling.

In dermabrasion, the practitioner scrapes the skin using a device with a rough rotating wheel or brush. In laser resurfacing, the practitioner uses light energy to destroy the outer layer of skin. In chemical peeling, the practitioner uses harsh chemicals to remove the outer layers of skin. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure or treatment, you should consult a dermatologist about which one is right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.