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Procedure: Dermabrasion

Useful information for patients on Dermabrasion - skin rejuvenation using mechanical abrasion to exfoliate top skin layers and stimulate skin rejuvenation.

Dermabrasion is a technique of mechanical abrasion of the top layers of skin in an even and controlled way. This stimulates collagen production in the dermis and achieves rejuvenation of the skin and an improvement in skin texture, pigmentation, fine lines, and appearance. It can also help with some types of scars including acne scars.

A rotating device is used to abrade the skin. There will be pinpoint bleeding afterward. Microdermabrasion is a milder form of dermabrasion that stays more superficially in the skin with no bleeding afterward and less downtime afterward. The effects are milder than full dermabrasion.

Dermabrasion should be used cautiously in darker skin types. It is vital to protect your skin from the sun while healing.

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Useful Information

Ensure you consider all aspects of a procedure. You can speak to your surgeon about these areas of the surgery in more detail during a consultation.


0.5 to 1 hour depending on the extent of dermabrasion.


None, topical local anaesthetic (usually), local anaesthetic.


Usually an office-based procedure unless combined with other procedures e.g. a facelift.

Additional Information

Dermabrasion risks include more bleeding than expected (avoid medications such as aspirin or other blood thinners before treatment), slow healing, infection of the skin while healing e.g. if a cold sore develops, over or under pigmentation of the skin, demarcation lines between treated and untreated areas, less effect than anticipated, scarring of the skin, persistent redness of the skin and sun sensitivity.

Risks can be reduced by carefully protecting your skin from the sun while healing and following your specific aftercare advice and skin care.

Your skin will feel tight and can be raw and swollen to a variable extent depending on the depth of dermabrasion. The outer layers of the skin can take a couple of weeks to heal. You may have some pinkness in your skin for a while after this. You must protect your skin from the sun while healing and you may have very specific skin care regimes prescribed for the healing period. It is important to follow these.

Results last weeks to months depending on the extent of dermabrasion. Full dermabrasion has more effects and longer-lasting effects than milder microdermabrasion. Combining dermabrasion skin rejuvenation with long-term skin care such as retinoid/retinol-based skin care, sun protection, and not smoking will help you maintain the results of dermabrasion rejuvenation for longer.