Contraindications To Microdermabrasion: The Important Considerations To Make

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Microdermabrasion, a popular non-invasive skin treatment lauded for enhancing skin texture and appearance, comes with considerations that extend beyond its benefits. The suitability of this procedure varies among individuals due to contraindications – factors that heighten the likelihood of adverse reactions or post-procedural complications.

Delving into the realm of potential risks, understanding the contraindications to microdermabrasion is paramount before embarking on the quest for smoother skin. Consulting a skin care expert before undergoing microdermabrasion is a prudent step, allowing assessment of individual skin type and potential contraindications, thus ensuring a safe and effective journey toward skin rejuvenation.

By taking these precautions, you can confidently pursue the path to improved skin while minimizing potential risks.

What is Microdermabrasion?

dermatologist doing microdermabrasion to woman

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that involves using a machine to exfoliate the outermost layer of skin.

The process removes dead skin cells, stimulates collagen production, and can help minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and mild acne scars.

Microdermabrasion also helps in improving oily or dull skin, clogged pores, uneven skin discoloration, and damaged skin caused by sun or aging.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

During the procedure, a handheld device sprays tiny crystals onto the skin’s surface. These crystals, along with the removed dead skin cells, are then vacuumed away, revealing fresher, smoother skin underneath.

Understanding Contraindications

Contraindications refer to situations or aspects that deem a particular treatment or procedure unsuitable or not recommended for an individual. When it comes to microdermabrasion, it’s important to take into account specific contraindications. This is to prevent possible risks and complications.

Microdermabrasion, a well-liked cosmetic procedure, aids in enhancing skin appearance by gently removing the outer layer through exfoliation. Nevertheless, comprehending the contraindications linked with this treatment is crucial to guarantee its safety and desired outcomes.

Differentiating between absolute and relative contraindications:

  • Absolute contraindications: These are conditions or situations where microdermabrasion should not be performed under any circumstances. Examples include active herpes outbreaks like herpes simplex[1] (cold sores), open wounds, sunburns, and skin infections.

  • Relative contraindications: These are conditions that may make microdermabrasion less suitable but can still be considered on a case-by-case basis. For instance, individuals with eczema or rosacea may need careful evaluation before undergoing the procedure.

Factors that Affect the Suitability for Microdermabrasion

Skin Type

The extent to which an individual can comfortably undergo microdermabrasion is significantly influenced by their specific skin type. Since skin types exhibit variations, some might necessitate additional considerations, particularly those with sensitive or easily agitated skin.

To illustrate, it might be prudent to modify the intensity or frequency of microdermabrasion sessions for individuals with sensitive skin. This adjustment is undertaken to prevent excessive irritation or discomfort that could arise otherwise.

Medical History

A person’s medical history holds significance in the context of contemplating microdermabrasion. In cases where there’s a past record of keloid scarring (which entails raised scars extending beyond the initial wound), autoimmune disorders (characterized by the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues), or recent facial surgery, it might be advisable to steer clear of microdermabrasion.

The presence of these conditions could elevate the chances of complications arising and lead to less than satisfactory results from the treatment.

Current Medications

The potential effectiveness of microdermabrasion could be notably affected by the specific medications an individual is currently prescribed. For instance, medications frequently utilized to address severe acne, such as isotretinoin (commonly recognized as Accutane), possess the ability to heighten skin sensitivity and disrupt its natural healing mechanisms.

In situations where microdermabrasion is considered alongside these medications, the likelihood of experiencing side effects, heightened skin sensitivity, and increased redness is considerably higher. As a result, in order to ensure the treatment’s safety and effectiveness, the general recommendation leans towards avoiding microdermabrasion while these medications are actively being taken.

Through acknowledging and taking into account the contraindications linked to microdermabrasion, individuals can guarantee their safety and attain the intended results from this widely practiced cosmetic procedure. It is advisable to consistently seek guidance from a certified expert to evaluate your eligibility for microdermabrasion in accordance with your particular situation. 

Contraindications to Microdermabrasion

open hand palm with medicine tablets


Microdermabrasion is not recommended for pregnant individuals due to the potential risks involved. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the skin more sensitive, increasing the likelihood of adverse reactions.

Skin Conditions

Individuals with certain skin conditions, such as active eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, should avoid microdermabrasion as it can exacerbate these conditions and lead to discomfort.

Recent Sunburn or Tanning

Microdermabrasion should not be performed on skin that is sunburned or recently tanned. The procedure can further irritate the skin and prolong the healing process.

Open Wounds or Sores

Any open wounds, sores, or cuts on the skin’s surface should be allowed to heal completely before undergoing microdermabrasion to prevent infection and further irritation.

History of Keloid Scarring

Individuals with a history of keloid scarring, which is the overgrowth of scar tissue, should avoid microdermabrasion as it can potentially worsen scarring.

Use of Certain Medications

Some medications, like isotretinoin (Accutane), can make the skin more sensitive and prone to damage. Individuals using such medications should avoid microdermabrasion. This also includes prescribed pain medication.

Rosacea or Active Acne

Microdermabrasion can aggravate skin conditions like rosacea or active acne, leading to increased redness, inflammation, and discomfort.

Dermatitis or Eczema

Those with a history of dermatitis or eczema should steer clear of microdermabrasion, as the procedure can trigger flare-ups and intensify symptoms.

Immunosuppressive Disorders

Individuals with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of infection and delayed healing, making microdermabrasion unsuitable for them.

Vascular Lesions

Microdermabrasion can potentially damage blood vessels in the skin, making it unsuitable for individuals with vascular lesions.

Recent Cosmetic Procedures

Individuals who have recently undergone cosmetic procedures like a chemical peel or laser treatment should avoid microdermabrasion to prevent skin irritation and complications.

Skin Sensitivity

People with highly sensitive skin may experience excessive redness, irritation, and discomfort following microdermabrasion.

History of Skin Cancer

Individuals with a history of skin cancer should avoid microdermabrasion, as the procedure can potentially disturb the affected areas and lead to complications.

Uncontrolled Diabetes

Poorly controlled diabetes can affect skin healing and increase the risk of infections, making microdermabrasion less suitable.

dermatologist putting mask on woman patient

Significance of Consultation

For the secure and effective integration of microdermabrasion with acne treatment medications, it’s highly recommended to consult a dermatologist.

Their professional expertise is crucial in evaluating your unique situation, identifying potential conflicts, and offering personalized guidance on the best path forward.

Taking this proactive measure can significantly enhance the ultimate outcome of your treatment and contribute to the realization of your skin health ambitions.

By joining forces with a dermatologist, you are embracing a strategy that maximizes the benefits of both microdermabrasion and acne medications, all the while mitigating any conceivable risks.

Substitutes for Microdermabrasion

For those individuals who may not be viable candidates for microdermabrasion due to contradictory factors, there exist alternative therapeutic options. Chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing and revitalization, laser treatments, mild exfoliation techniques, and HydraFacial procedures could potentially offer akin advantages devoid of the associated hazards.

These alternatives can also address various skin concerns while catering to different skin types and conditions. To figure out which option is the most suitable alternative treatment for you, consult with a skincare professional so your specific needs and contraindications will be considered.

open wounds on face of a man

Frequently Asked Questions

Is microdermabrasion painful?

Microdermabrasion is generally not painful. Patients may experience mild discomfort or a sensation similar to light scratching during the procedure of microdermabrasion treatment.

How many sessions of microdermabrasion are typically needed?

The number of sessions can vary depending on individual goals and skin conditions. Typically, a series of 4 to 6 sessions spaced a few weeks apart is recommended.

Can I undergo microdermabrasion if I have a history of acne?

If you have a history of acne, it’s essential to consult a skincare professional before undergoing microdermabrasion. They can assess your skin’s condition and recommend the most suitable treatment.

Are there any age restrictions for microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is generally safe for adults of all ages. However, it’s essential to consider individual skin conditions and medical history before undergoing the procedure.

Can microdermabrasion be performed on sensitive skin?

Microdermabrasion can be challenging for individuals with sensitive skin, as it may lead to increased redness and irritation. Consulting a skincare professional is advisable to determine the best approach for your skin type.

dermatologist checking the face of woman patient


Microdermabrasion possesses the potential to initiate a significant transformation, resulting in smoother and more youthful skin. However, it’s crucial to recognize that specific contraindications may make this procedure unsuitable for certain individuals. By acquainting themselves with these contraindications and actively seeking expert advice, individuals can navigate their options considerately in terms of skincare treatments.

Furthermore, integrating this knowledge into decision-making not only empowers individuals to prioritize the well-being of their skin but also underscores the importance of an informed approach to skincare. In this pursuit, the synergy between professional guidance and personal comprehension lays the foundation for optimal outcomes and a heightened sense of confidence in one’s skincare journey.

Also, check out the other comparison review I did below for more options on facial care procedure: