get rid of acne scars dermabrasion

Acne scarring represents much more than damaged skin—it is a condition that dramatically affects your appearance and can have a devastating impact on self-esteem. It’s the most common skin condition in the United States, and it doesn’t just affect teens-- problems with acne can continue well into someone’s 30s and 40s. Around 50 million Americans annually experience some type of acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Why should you choose an otolaryngologist for help with acne scarring? Because our board-certified facial plastic surgeons are leaders in their field and have given hundreds of patients a new outlook on life through acne scar removal and dermabrasion. 

What causes acne scarring?

Acne occurs when skin pores are blocked by oil, causing the pore to swell. When the pore swells, the hair follicle wall breaks, creating a lesion. Minor lesions typically heal easily, but deep breaks cause nearby tissues to become infected. As a result, deeper lesions are created. While the skin grows collagen fibers to repair this, the results are rarely smooth and flawless, according to information from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

There are two types of acne scars: keloid scarring and atrophic scarring. Keloid scarring occurs when too much collagen is produced as wounds heal, which can cause raised skin tissue. Atrophic scarring is the result of tissue loss, causing “holes” in the skin similar to chickenpox scars. 

What is dermabrasion and how does it help?

This is a mechanical exfoliation technique that utilizes a dermabrader, a motorized device equipped with a small, abrasive wheel. By providing gentle pressure, the dermabrader carefully removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and part of the thicker layer of skin (the dermis).  After the procedure, new skin cells are generated, eliminating scars and wrinkles. Typically, dermabrasion can be performed in our office under local anesthesia. 

How long does dermabrasion take?

This depends upon how much skin is being treated. The procedure can take a few minutes or more than an hour. However, if you have severe scarring or a large amount of skin to treat, the dermabrasion can be completed in several stages. 

Who is a candidate for dermabrasion?

While those who need acne scar removal can benefit from dermabrasion, there are several other conditions it treats. According to the Mayo Clinic, other candidates for dermabrasion are those who:

  • Want to eliminate small wrinkles
  • Have age spots or sun-damaged skin
  • Want to remove age spots
  • Need to have tattoos removed
  • Have an uneven skin tone
  • Want to reduce swelling and redness of the nose, called rhinophyma
  • Have precancerous skin patches

Our skilled physicians will also take into consideration other factors—including medical history-- to determine if you’re a candidate for dermabrasion. Your age, skin type and natural complexions will all be taken into account when determining a course of treatment. If you are in the active stages of acne, you will not be a candidate because this presents an increased risk of infection. 

If you have any questions on whether or not you’re a candidate for this procedure, please schedule an appointment with one of our ear, nose and throat doctors.

Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians are Experts in Facial Plastic Surgery

Dermabrasion is just one of the many procedures we offer.  We offer cosmetic procedures including: 

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelids)
  • Otoplasty (ears)
  • Chin implants

In addition, we also offer reconstructive plastic surgery for those who have had an injury or who have had Mohs skin cancer treatment. 

Interested in more information? You’ll find the following articles useful:

5 Common Facial Plastic Surgeries 

How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery - A Checklist  

What is a Skin Graft and Why Would You Need One? 

Rhinoplasty: More Than Mere Cosmetic Benefits 


Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose, and Throat is the area's premiere physician-owned ENT practice with seven convenient locations throughout Wake County. Our board-certified physicians have extensive experience in treating both common and complex cases to help adults and children alike. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.



American Academy of Dermatology | Association. “Skin Conditions by the Numbers.” Online. 

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Dermabrasion.” Online. 

American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. “Acne Scars.” Online.

The Mayo Clinic. “Dermabrasion.” Online.