Dermabrasion is a procedure that uses abrasion to remove surface irregularities from the skin. If done using crystals, it is called microdermabrasion and if done using diamond rotors, it is called surgical dermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion is done by therapists and is considered non-surgical, it reaches only shallow depth, there is no bleeding. Surgical dermabrasion reaches deeper, is done by a surgeon and is more powerful in smoothening the skin. It is done under local anesthesia with light sedation. The area is covered by some dressings initially and later by ointments for the first week.

Swelling and oozing are noted in first 3 days; later oozing stops and the skin starts to heal. Healing is complete usually in 7 days. The new skin appears pink and smooth (baby like). It is delicate and has to be protected from sun and harsh weather. After few weeks, it is stable but still needs sun blocks for 3 months.

Who is a candidate for Dermabrasion?

This is best for lighter skin persons with deep acne marks on the face. In such cases, it is most effective. In darker skin colors, the procedure is effective but excessive pigmentation lasting 3-6 months is a frequent issue.

There may be persistent redness, sometimes lasting several months; this can be camouflaged by special foundations. Sometimes, several weeks after surgery small white dots, resembling acne, may appear. These disappear in a short period of time. Occasional areas of darkened skin color may appear.

This is usually temporary and may be treated with prescription facial creams. Sometimes the treated areas will appear lighter than untreated areas. While this is sometimes permanent, it is usually quite subtle.