The epidermal and dermal changes associated with microdermabrasion

Dermatol Surg. 2001 Dec;27(12):1031-3; discussion 1033-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2001.01031.x.


Background: Microdermabrasion has become a popular method of skin rejuvenation for treating dyschromia, fine wrinkles, and mild scarring.

Objective: To analyze the onset and extent of the dermatologic changes associated with microdermabrasion.

Methods: Ten volunteers, ages 31-62 years, underwent a series of six aluminum oxide microdermabrasion facial treatments 7-10 days apart. Skin biopsy specimens were obtained prior to the study, after three treatments, and after six treatments.

Results: Compared to the controls, the treated areas demonstrated the following histologic changes: thickening of the epidermis and dermis, flattening of the rete pegs, vascular ectasia and perivascular inflammation, and hyalinization of the papillary dermis with newly deposited collagen and elastic fibers.

Conclusion: This study suggests that microdermabrasion produces clinical improvement by a mechanism resembling a reparative process at the dermal and epidermal levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aluminum Oxide / administration & dosage
  • Biopsy
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Dermabrasion*
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology*


  • Collagen
  • Aluminum Oxide