What is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a type of cosmetic procedure in which the skin is scraped with an abrasive tool to improve its appearance. It's most commonly used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and acne scarring, as well as to treat other types of skin damage, such as sunspots, age spots, and shallow scars caused by chicken pox. This procedure is usually performed by a licensed dermatologist.

Benefits of Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion can help improve the appearance of facial wrinkles and acne scarring. It can also help smooth out and improve other types of damage to the skin, such as age spots, sun damage, and even some types of shallow scars.

How Dermabrasion Works

During a dermabrasion procedure, a dermatologist uses a special device called a dermatome to exfoliate the top layers of the skin. The dermatome contains a looped wire brush, diamond wheel, or rubbing stone. This device is then used to gently scrape away the top layers of the skin.

Possible Side Effects

Dermabrasion can cause scarring, redness, and swelling. Additionally, it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). In people with darker skin, PIH can result in patches of white or light-colored skin, which can take a long time to resolve.

Precautions Before Dermabrasion

  • People who have active acne should wait until it is under control before undergoing dermabrasion.
  • People with darker skin tones may need to be extra careful when considering dermabrasion, as it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
  • People with a history of cold sores should tell their doctor beforehand, as dermabrasion can cause cold sores to flare up.
  • Dermabrasion should not be performed on open wounds.