Dermabrasion is most commonly utilized in the improvement of acne scarring and scars resulting from facial injuries, but can also be utilized in the treatment of tattoos and other facial lesions.

Dermabrasion is of some help in reducing wrinkles and deep folds of the cheeks, neck and jowls as well as around the mouth, but the results are generally inferior to those obtained through the use of chemical peeling. Dermabrasion can be done as early as 6 weeks after an injury to improve a scar. A region surrounding the scar is usually dermabraded as well, allowing proper blending of the area with surrounding skin.

It must be understood that Dermabrasion is a procedure where several separate procedures may be required to obtain the maximum result, although a single Dermabrasion may well produce a very acceptable result. The main complications of Dermabrasion, namely scarring and pigment changes, are best prevented by avoiding too deep a Dermabrasion. An antiviral medicine will also be prescribed before surgery to prevent an outbreak and an increased risk of scarring.

Procedure Description

Dermabrasion, or surgical sanding, is a procedure used to reduce scars or irregularities of the skin surface. The procedure utilizes a high speed rotating diamond burr or wire brush.


It must be recognized that some change in pigmentation may follow dermabrasion and that this can be permanent. It may be either hyperpigmentation (darker coloration) or hypopigmentation (lighter coloration). Pigment change is best avoided by protecting newly dermabraded skin from the sun through careful use of an adequate sunscreen.

If prolonged redness, hypo and hyperpigmentations occur, they can often be helped with various prescription creams. However, again, the best treatment is prevention by using protective sun care products.

Post Treatment Instructions

After Dermabrasion, an emollient (A&D ointment) should be applied to the affected area multiple times a day. This technique promotes new skin growth and early healing. When small areas are dermabraded, many patients find that they can return to sedentary types of work the day after surgery.

When the entire face is dermabraded, some discomfort should be anticipated as well as a general feeling of tightness and throbbing. The crusts that follow the procedure generally separate from the skin within a few days after which there is minimal discomfort. At this time there many be some itching. It is important not to pick crusts off the face, but to let them fall off with the help of the light touch of the shower. This will help prevent scarring.

Most people can resume their normal occupation within ten days or two weeks after a full face Dermabrasion. The newly formed skin is pink at first and resumes normal appearance within six weeks to three months. Antibiotic and pain prescriptions will be provided.