Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a rapidly rotating device to sand the outer layers of skin. After dermabrasion, the skin that grows back is usually smoother and younger looking.
Dermabrasion can decrease the appearance of fine facial lines and improve the look of scars, such as those caused by acne. Dermabrasion can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.
During dermabrasion, doctors will numb your skin with anesthetics. You might also have the option of taking a sedative or receiving general anesthesia, depending on the extent of your treatment.
Skin treated with dermabrasion will be sensitive and bright pink for several weeks. The pinkness will take about three months to fade.
Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a rapidly rotating device to sand the outer layers of skin. Immediately after dermabrasion, treated skin will be red and swollen. The skin that grows back is usually smoother and younger looking. The individual pictured provided consent for the photos to be published. Similar results cannot be guaranteed because every situation is different.
Dermabrasion can be used to treat or remove:
Dermabrasion can cause side effects, including:
Redness and swelling. After dermabrasion, treated skin will be red and swollen. Swelling will begin to decrease within a few days to one week, but might last for weeks or even months.
Your new skin will be sensitive and bright pink for several weeks. The pinkness will likely take about three months to fade.
Dermabrasion isn't for everyone. Your doctor might caution against dermabrasion if you:
Before you have dermabrasion, your doctor will likely:
Before dermabrasion, you might also need to:
Dermabrasion is typically done in an office-based procedure room or outpatient surgical facility. However, if you're having extensive work done, dermabrasion might be done in a hospital.
Before the procedure, a member of your health care team will clean your face, cover your eyes and mark the area to be treated. A topical anesthetic might be rubbed on your skin to decrease sensation. Then your skin will be numbed with local anesthetics.
You might have the option of taking a sedative or receiving general anesthesia, depending on the extent of your treatment.
During dermabrasion, a member of your health care team will hold your skin taut. Your doctor will move the dermabrader — a small motorized device with an abrasive wheel or brush for a tip — across your skin with constant, gentle pressure. He or she will carefully remove the outer layers of skin to reveal new, smoother skin.
Dermabrasion can take a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on how much skin is being treated. If you have deep scarring or you're having a large amount of skin treated, you might have dermabrasion done more than once or in stages.
After dermabrasion, treated skin will be covered with a moist, nonstick dressing. You'll likely need to schedule a checkup soon after treatment so that your doctor can examine your skin and change your dressing.
At home, change your dressing as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will also let you know when you can begin regularly cleaning the treated area and applying protective ointments. Your self-care instructions will vary depending on the extent of your procedure.
While you're healing:
To relieve pain after the procedure, your doctor might prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relief, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others). Your doctor will recommend an over-the-counter medication that is best for you.
You might prefer to remain at home while you're healing from dermabrasion, though you can usually return to work after two weeks. Keep treated areas away from chlorinated swimming pool water for at least four weeks. Your doctor might recommend avoiding active sports — especially those involving a ball — for four to six weeks.
Once new skin completely covers the treated area, you can use cosmetics to conceal any redness.
If your treated skin appears to be getting worse — becomes increasingly red, raised and itchy after it has started to heal — contact your doctor. These might be signs of scarring.
After dermabrasion, your new skin will be sensitive and red. Swelling will begin to decrease within a few days to a week, but can last for weeks or even months. The pinkness of your skin will likely take about three months to fade.
Once the treated area begins to heal, you'll notice that your skin looks smoother. Protect your skin from the sun for at least six to 12 months to prevent permanent changes in skin color.
If dark skin coloring is a concern after healing is complete, your doctor might prescribe hydroquinone — a bleaching agent — to help even out your skin tone.
Keep in mind that dermabrasion results might not be permanent. As you age, you'll continue to acquire lines by squinting and smiling. New sun damage also can reverse your results.