Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to “refinish” the skin’s top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.
Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. It’s also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.
Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. They can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel.
If you are planning surface repairs on your face, you may also be considering a chemical peel, an alternative method of surgically removing the top layer of skin. However, dermabrasion and dermaplaning use surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers, while chemical peels use a caustic solution.
You may review our section on chemical peels for additional information.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but neither treatment will remove all scars and flaws or prevent aging. Men and women of all ages, from young people to older adults, can benefit from dermabrasion and dermaplaning.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed fairly quickly. The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It’s not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.
Right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You’ll probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Fisher. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.
Your new skin will be a bit swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for several weeks. During this time, you can begin gradually resuming your normal activities. You can expect to be back at work in about two weeks.
Refinishing treatments can offer dramatic improvements in the surface of your skin, but it will take some time before you see the final results.
The pinkness of your skin will take about three months to fade. In the meantime, you’ll probably want to wear non-allergenic makeup when you go out. When your new skin is fully repigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.