Microdermabrasion Vs. Microneedling: Which To Choose?

Microdermabrasion and microneedling are two skin resurfacing procedures that may sound similar and thus confuse someone seeking solutions for skin problems. Today we are giving you a brief comparison of microdermabrasion vs. microneedling treatments so that you can decide which procedure is to be researched in more detail.

Microdermabrasion Vs. Microneedling: Are They the Same Thing With the Same Results?

Microdermabrasion is one of the most sought after and performed procedures by medical professionals. But what is microdermabrasion? Does it hurt? How long does it take? What is the downtime of the procedure?

Microdermabrasion is the process of removing the layer of dead, dull, and lifeless cells on the skin’s surface using a mildly abrasive instrument and/or solution.

Often sodium bicarbonate crystals are used to exfoliate the skin’s surface along with an instrument that uses mild suction. The suction assists in clearing away the exfoliated cells as well as increasing circulation to the area. Since the process is taking place on the outermost layer of the skin, there is minimal discomfort and the entire procedure normally takes between 50 to 60 minutes.

With microdermabrasion, there is no real downtime but swelling, redness, some dry peeling skin, and some bruising is possible for the first few days. Microdermabrasion can be performed on most skin types and a consultation with your medical professional can help you decide if it is right for you.

What Is Microneedling and How Is It Different From Microdermabrasion?

How does microneedling compare to microdermabrasion? Microneedling is a more invasive procedure but it is more beneficial as it not only treats the surface skin but the layers below the surface. An instrument that has tiny surgical needles is used to create microscopic punctures in the outer layers of the skin. This procedure is also known as “collagen induction therapy”.

The skin’s response to the microscopic punctures during the microneedling procedure is to repair itself as quickly as possible. It does this by ramping up its production of elastin and collagen to heal these tiny wounds.

The process takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. The medical professional will apply numbing cream to the skin before the procedure so you should feel very little discomfort. There may be a bit of redness, peeling dry skin, or swelling for a few days after the procedure but you can resume your normal activities. It is recommended that you keep your skin free from any make-up etc. for at least 48 hours to allow the tiny wounds to heal up a bit and seal up. Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun while it is healing.

Microneedling is beneficial for those with scars from acne, stretch marks, fine lines, and wrinkles, etc.  Most people notice a significant difference in their skin within 4 to 6 weeks after the microneedling treatment.

What About At-Home Dermarollers?

There have been introductions of microneedling devices marketed to the general public called dermarollers. Dermarollers, while possibly useful on the surface are ineffective as they do not penetrate deep enough to get the full benefit of the procedure. Instruments used to penetrate the skin should be kept sterilized and sanitary which may be an issue in an “at-home” situation.


As you have learned, microdermabrasion is less invasive but is only performed on the most outer layer of skin while microneedling addresses the top layers of skin and requires a mild numbing cream.

Microdermabrasion can help with some mild skin issues while microneedling is able to address deeper more prominent issues.

We would love to answer any questions you may have regarding microdermabrasion vs. microneedling, or any other skin treatments available at SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics. Give us a call at (678) 304-0628 to book a free consultation with the best Atlanta cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Angelina Postoev.

Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer microdermabrasion and microneedling treatments for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and other surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.

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