Dermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment used to improve the skin’s appearance, notably acne scars and fine lines on the face. It is also used to treat superficial scars caused by surgery or injury, pigmentation changes in the skin, sun damage, age spots, tattoo removal and surface skin growths such as rhinophyma.

Dermabrasion is nearly always performed by dermatologists or plastic surgeons, on an outpatient basis. It implies receiving anaesthesia and using a wire brush, burr or similar device, which spins and grazes the skin’s surface to remove the outer layers. Following the procedure, the skin generally grows back over the course of five to eight days. This new skin is pink or red in colour, which fades in the following six to twelve weeks.

While the skin is healing, proper care of the treated area is indispensable. In order to avoid infection, the skin must be cleansed several times a day. The wound should be consistently kept moist by changing the ointment or dressing covering it. Sun exposure should be avoided, and even once peeling as finished, sunscreen should be worn daily as the skin becomes much more sensitive. It is necessary to follow-up with your doctor on multiple visits to verify how the skin heals and regrows.

Some risks associated with dermabrasion include: bleeding, inflection, rash, redness, swelling, changes in skin tone and acne breakouts. Though dermabrasion is a means to achieve a more youthful appearance, it is not adapted to everyone. Speak to your doctor to determine if you are eligible for this form of treatment, or if another is better adapted to you.