Dermabrasion

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Dermabrasion is the process of surgically scraping the skin to help lessen the appearance of scars, wrinkles, pigmentation, and pre-cancerous lesions.

Dermabrasion Overview - 775

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

3 weeks

Permanence

Permanent

Application

Mechanical Abrasion

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$100 - $4000

The Specifics


What is dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is an invasive plastic surgery skin resurfacing procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to address numerous common skin concerns. During a dermabrasion treatment, a provider will move a dermabrader, a small motorized device with an abrasive tip, across the skin under constant gentle pressure to remove outer skin layers. This process can take minutes to hours depending on the concerns being treated. For larger treatment areas, multiple sessions may be needed.

What cosmetic concerns does a dermabrasion procedure treat?

  1. Scars: For patients looking to minimize the appearance of scars, dermabrasion can be an effective solution.
  2. Tattoo Removal: Dermabrasion can be used as part of the tattoo removal process.
  3. Uneven Skin Texture: A dermabrasion treatment can be used to even out the texture of the skin.
  4. Uneven Skin Tone: Similarly, the removal of skin can reveal a more even complexion.
  5. Fine Lines & Wrinkles: The physical removal of multiple skin layers promotes new collagen growth and restoration.

Who is the ideal candidate for a dermabrasion procedure?

The ideal candidate for a dermabrasion treatment is a generally healthy adult with mild to moderate skin concerns such as fine lines/wrinkles, brown spots, age spots, scarring, and acne scarring. Dermabrasion is not recommended for those with active rosacea, lupus, psoriasis, acne, eczema, or dermatitis, or those with keratotic skin types.

What is the average recovery associated with a dermabrasion procedure?

Following a dermabrasion procedure patients will be advised to take considerable precautions with their skin for about two weeks. Scabbing and peeling typically last about two weeks during the acute healing process. Redness and swelling may persist for up to six weeks. Patients usually return to work and most activities after two weeks. Eating and speaking may initially be difficult following the treatment due to sensitivity.

What are the potential side effects of a dermabrasion procedure?

Possible side effects following a dermabrasion procedure include prolonged redness and swelling, milia development (white bumps), temporary increase in pore size, changes in skin color, patchy hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation (especially in dark skin individuals), infection, or scarring.

What can someone expect from the results of a dermabrasion procedure?

The results of a dermabrasion will be significant enhancements to skin tone, skin texture, complexion, and overall skin health. The results will, however, take time to develop as new skin will need to rejuvenate following the treatment. This typically takes a few weeks. The results of dermabrasion are permanent, although they will naturally change as patients age with use, damage, and sun exposure.

What is the average cost of a dermabrasion procedure?

Dermabrasion costs anywhere from $100 to $4,000. The actual cost of a dermabrasion is dependent upon location, provider, and length and involvement of the cosmetic procedure. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of dermabrasion.

thumbs-upPros

  • Less Invasive Than A Facelift
  • Improved Scars
  • Scar Treatment
  • Long Lasting

thumbs-downCons

  • Skin Irritation
  • Scarring
  • Skin Color May Change
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Blotchy Skin
  • Sun Sensitivity

Invasiveness Score

1
2
3
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5
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7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Dermabrasion is the process of surgically scraping the skin to help lessen the appearance of scars, wrinkles, pigmentation, and pre-cancerous lesions. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after dermabrasion.

The Takeaway


A dermabrasion plastic surgery skin resurfacing procedure removes the outer layers of skin to reveal a healthier, rejuvenated complexion. Dermabrasion can address acne scarring, fine lines/wrinkles, uneven skin tone or texture, and certain precancerous skin growths.
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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. A Bayat Skin Scarring pubmed.gov; 2003-01-11
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin
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