Dermabrasion for Scars

Dermabrasion, sometimes known as dermaplaning, is a procedure that “refinishes” the top layers of skin through controlled surgical scraping. The new skin typically appears smoother and refreshed. Outcomes can be dramatic and long-lasting.

What you should know about dermabrasion for treating scars

The treatment area is first thoroughly cleansed. Numbing medication or a freezing spray is used to anesthetize the treatment area. The doctor then removes the scar tissue using a special wire brush or a rough-edged diamond wheel.

Why choose dermabrasion for treating scars

Dermabrasion is effective for acne scars, pox marks and scars from accidents or disease. It’s less effective on burn scars. The procedure is a good choice for fair-skinned individuals. It can cause discoloration for those with darker skin.

Possible risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Loss of skin color
  • Tissue damage caused by excessive freezing.
  • Infection

What to expect after the procedure

Recovery and healing time after dermabrasion depends on the size and depth of the area treated. Patients must:

  • Cleanse the treated area several times daily to prevent infection.
  • Change ointments and dressings to promote healing.
  • Avoid exposure to the sun.

Skin regrowth occurs within five to eight days. New skin is pink or red in appearance, fading to normal skin tones in six to 12 weeks. Pain and swelling is generally minimal after the procedure, though pain killers and steroids are prescribed in some cases. Your ASDS dermatologist may schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, you and your ASDS dermatologist should discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. A week or so before treatment, dermabrasion candidates should:

  • Stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid certain skin care products.
  • Stay out of the sun.