Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning


What is dermabrasion?

Similar to a chemical peel, dermabrasion is a procedure that resurfaces your skin
and removes fine wrinkles and minimizes scars on the skin. The difference between
a chemical peel and dermabrasion, however, is the method used. Dermabrasion involves
the surgeon using a high speed rotating brush to manually remove the top layer of
skin. The size and depth of the scars, as well as the degree of wrinkling, determine
the appropriate level of skin that will be surgically sloughed.

Possible complications of dermabrasion

Possible complications of dermabrasion may include:

  • Fever blisters. Dermabrasion can cause fever blisters
    to reappear in those who are prone to frequent herpes simplex infections.
    Antiviral medicines are often used to treat this symptom. You may be given them
    before your procedure by your doctor to prevent an outbreak.

  • Pigmentation changes. Some people may develop a change
    in the pigmentation (coloration) of their skin after undergoing the procedure.
    Treatment for this symptom may include the use of bleaching creams, as prescribed
    by a doctor. A decrease in pigmentation can be permanent.

  • Thickened skin. Thickening of the skin can develop.
    This symptom may be treated with steroid creams or injections which help the skin
    return to its normal state.

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is used to treat deep acne scars with a hand-held instrument called a
dermatome. The dermatome looks like an electric razor and has an oscillating blade
that moves back and forth to evenly “skim” off the surface layers of skin that surround
the craters, or other facial defects.

Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be done on small areas of skin, or on the entire
face. They can be used alone, or with other procedures. Neither treatment, however,
will remove all scars and flaws, or prevent aging.

Who can benefit from dermabrasion or dermaplaning?

Men and women of all ages can benefit from dermabrasion and dermaplaning. Important
factors that help to determine the effectiveness of both treatments include the following:

  • Skin type

  • Skin coloring

  • Medical history

About the procedure

Although each procedure varies, dermabrasion and dermaplaning surgeries generally
cover the following considerations:

Where the procedure may be done

  • Surgeon’s office-based surgical facility

  • Outpatient surgery center

  • Hospital outpatient

  • Hospital inpatient

Anesthesia options

  • Local anesthesia, combined
    with a sedative. This lets the patient stay awake and relaxed.

  • A numbing spray may be used along with or instead of local anesthesia

  • General anesthesia

How long does it take?

  • From a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of the area of skin to
    be refinished. The procedure may be done more than once, or in stages.

Some possible short-term side effects of surgery

  • The skin may be red and swollen. It may appear scraped for several days.

  • Eating and talking may be difficult for a few days after the procedure.

  • Tingling, burning, or aching may occur.

  • Swelling and scabbing may occur.

As the new skin begins to grow, it may appear and feel swollen. The skin may also
be sensitive and bright pink in color, which may take about 3 months to fade. Protection
from the sun is very important following this type of procedure.