Dermabrasion

If you're considering a skin-refinishing treatment...
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to "refinish" the skin's top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. It's also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.

Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. They can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel.

Alternative Procedures

If you're planning "surface repairs" on your face, you may also be considering chemical peel, an alternative method of surgically removing the top layer of skin. However, dermabrasion and dermaplaning use surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers, while chemical peel uses a caustic solution.

The Procedure
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed fairly quickly. The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It's not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.

After the Procedure
Right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You'll probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.

 

This cross section shows how
dermabrasion smooths irregularities
in the outermost layer of skin.


Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can smooth scars left by acne, accidents, or previous surgery, as well as fine facial wrinkles, especially those around the mouth.

In dermabrasion, the surgeon scrapes away the top layers of skin using an electrically operated instrument with a rough wire brush or diamond-impregnated burr.

Dermaplaning uses a dermatone to skim off surface layers of skin that surround facial defects.

Several months after your procedure, pigmentation returns and the skin is much smoother than before.