Site Map

Dermabrasion

Skin planing

Dermabrasion is the removal of the top layers of the skin. It is a type of skin-smoothing surgery.

Presentation

Skin smoothing surgery - series - Indication

I Would Like to Learn About:

Description

Dermabrasion is usually done by a doctor, either a plastic surgeon or dermatologic surgeon. The procedure takes place in your doctor's office or an outpatient clinic.

You'll likely be awake. A numbing medicine (local anesthesia) will be applied to the skin that will be treated.

If you are having a complex procedure, you may be given medicines called sedatives to make you sleepy and less anxious. Another option is general anesthesia, which allows you to sleep through surgery and not feel any pain during the procedure.

Dermabrasion uses a special device to gently and carefully "sand down" the top surface of the skin down to normal, healthy skin. Petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment is placed on the treated skin to prevent scabs and scars from forming.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Dermabrasion may be helpful if you have:

For many of these conditions, other treatments can be done, such as laser or chemical peels, or medicine injected into the skin. Talk to your provider about treatment options for your skin problem.

Risks

Risks of any anesthesia and surgery in general include:

Risks of dermabrasion include:

After the Procedure

After the procedure:

During healing:

Protect your skin from the sun for 6 to 12 weeks or until your skin color has returned to normal. You can wear hypoallergenic make-up to hide any changes in skin color. New skin should closely match the surrounding skin when full color returns.

Outlook (Prognosis)

If your skin remains red and swollen after healing has started, it may be a sign that abnormal scars are forming. Tell your doctor if this happens. Treatment may be available.

People with dark skin are at greater risk of having dark patches of skin after the procedure.

Related Information

Acne
Wrinkles

References

Monheit GD, Chastain MA. Chemical and mechanical skin resurfacing. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 154.

Perkins SW, Floyd EM. Management of aging skin. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 23.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 11/4/2020  

Reviewed By: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.