In the previous article, we looked at some of the salient aspects related to dermabrasion and dermaplaning. We looked at what the process can do, who are the ideal candidates for the same and who should consider other processes. In this concluding article, we will look at the actual procedure, your recovery and the possible complications.

What is the procedure for a dermabrasion?

There are actually three parts of a dermabrasion procedure, and those are as follows:

  • Where the procedure will be performed: There are several places where the dermabrasion or dermaplaning procedures can be conducted. However, most often, the process is conducted as an outpatient procedure. This means that the procedure could be done at a doctor’s clinic or at the outpatient department of a hospital. The only reason why your surgeon would want to admit you would be if you are getting any other surgical procedure done in tandem with the dermabrasion.
  • The types of anaesthesia that can be used: There is some amount of pain in a dermabrasion or dermaplaning procedure, which is why either one of the procedures will be done only under the influence of an anaesthetic. While the anaesthesia will numb the area where the procedure will be conducted, you will also be given a sedative, which will allow you to relax. The combination of the sedative and anaesthesia will ensure that you feel minimal discomfort. If the procedure is superficial, then your surgeon might even use a numbing spray, which is often used instead of anaesthesia. However, if a larger area has to be covered or the surgeon is aware that you might require extensive work, he might prefer a general anaesthesia, which means that you will probably sleep through the entire procedure.
  • The actual surgical procedure: In most cases, the procedure can be completed in a matter of a few minutes. However, the time taken to complete the procedure depends completely on the area that needs to be covered –more the area, more time it will take. In many cases, your doctor will suggest multiple sessions, because when there is a larger area of skin, it can get difficult as well as stressful for the skin to handle too much in one go. This is normally the manner of completion of procedure, when there is deep scarring too. A rough brush or a device containing tiny diamonds will be used to scrub away the outer layer of skin. The scraping will be continued till the time the surgeon feels that the scars and wrinkles have become minimally visible.

The process of dermaplaning is a little different – a device known as the dermatome is used, which resembles an electric razor. This hand-held device has a blade that oscillates in a back and forth motion, removing the uneven layers of the skin. The oscillation will also remove the skin that surrounds any facial defects, such as minute craters caused by acne. The process will be continued till the time the skin surrounding the acne or wrinkle has become as even as possible. The process will be concluded with the skin being treated with an ointment or dressing.

What is the recovery process after a dermabrasion?

There are actually three parts to the recovery process and these are the days and weeks immediately after the surgery, returning to a normal routine and getting accustomed to the new look and taking care of the same.

  • After the procedure: Immediately after the procedure, your skin will feel extremely sensitive and there might be swelling as well. Many people will experience redness over the treated area, which tends to fade away over a few days’ time. There have been reports that people have trouble eating or even speaking, immediately after the procedure. There is often a tingling, burning or aching sensation, which will either be controlled by medications that your doctor will prescribe or will recede over time, on their own. The recovery procedure is quite similar to normal cuts and scrapes – first of all a crust will form over the wound and in time, the crust will fall off, revealing skin that is almost pink in colour. There might be itching when the new skin is forming and your doctor will suggest that you not give into the temptation. You will be prescribed an ointment, which should ideally be applied immediately after the surgery, as this will help with the itching.
  • Returning to a normal routine: You will be given extensive information and instruction on how you need to take care of yourself, in the days after the procedure. Men will be advised to avoid shaving for a few days, as the possible nicks and cuts could lead to other complications. You will be told how to observe for possible complications, and should you see any, you will be required to head to the doctor immediately. Your doctor will probably suggest that you be extremely careful for the next two weeks, after which you should be able to return to your normal routine. You will be asked to avoid all activities that could strain your face or hurt it, which means you will not be able to play any contact sports for a while. Swimming should also be avoided because the chlorine could harm your sensitive skin. Ideally, you should also avoid alcohol for a few days. What is most important is that you protect your skin from over exposure to the sun and dirt.
  • Living with the new look: The results will not be visible immediately, and the pinkness will take a few weeks to fade away. You will have to take care of your skin, applying makeup that does not cause allergy, avoiding shaving and the sun and ensuring that you wear sunscreen, every time you step out of the house.

What can go wrong with dermabrasion?

If the procedure has been completed by a professional and qualified surgeon, there is little chance of anything going wrong. However, there could be blotchiness in the skin, minute whiteheads and even peeling of the skin. There is also the possibility of infection and scarring, although very few cases of the same have been reported. Certain cases of excessive scar tissue have also been reported.

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For almost all of us, our face is the most prized possession and we spend much, in terms of both time and money, to take good care of it. While some of us might think that washing our face a few times a day would be enough, there would be others who would be of the opinion that regular facials are essential to keep the face looking young. And then there are those who would go to greater lengths to ensure that their face always looks great, and will constantly be on the lookout for modern methods of doing the same.

One of the newest methods of taking care of the face is Dermabrasion or Dermaplaning. In this article and the next one, we will take a look at every aspect associated with this procedure.

What is Dermabrasion?

In the simplest of terms, if the word is broken into two pieces – derma and abrasion, it becomes obvious that the process is about applying abrasion or something abrasive to the skin. The idea behind the process is that when something abrasive is applied to the skin, it will erode the top most layer of skin, which might actually be nothing more than dead skin cells. When the gentler, softer skin is revealed, the face or body looks fresher and the skin cells will now have reason to multiply and this in turn will entice the collagen to become active too.


Generally, dermabrasion is done to improve the condition of the face, which could have been scarred due to intense acne, accidents or even previous facial reconstruction surgeries. The same process can also be used to smoothen out fine lines or wrinkles. In addition, the same treatment can also be used for the removal of keratose, which is a pre-cancerous growth. Dermabrasion as well as dermaplaning can help refinish the top layers of the skin, providing facial skin with a more finished and smooth look.

Where can dermabrasion be performed?

While there is no specification as to where the procedure can be done, it is normally done on small parts of the skin or the entire face. The process can be done on its own, but many surgeons prefer to do it in conjunction with other facial procedures such as chemical peel, removal of scars or even a complete facelift.

Who would be an ideal candidate for dermabrasion?

Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning are meant to enhance the appearance of the face, however, anyone going for the procedure needs to remember that it cannot stop the natural ageing process. In addition, the process will not remove very deep seated scars, and can help only with fine lines, basic wrinkles and scars of a small size.

Here are people who would be ideal candidates for a dermabrasion procedure:

  • People who are looking to enhance their appearance and self confidence
  • People who have realistic expectations
  • People who have crossed at least sixteen years in age
  • People who are looking to lose their freckles
  • People who are not suffering from active acne

Normally, these treatments might not work very well on very dark skin, people who have had radiation, multiple chemicals peels, or even have a bad sun burn. Should the procedure be done for such people, their skin could end up being blotchy and discoloured.

What are the options for someone who cannot get a dermabrasion?

If it is only smoother skin that you are looking for, you could always consider a chemical peel. Not only will it remove the top most layer of the skin, revealing newer and fresher skin, but also allow for new skin to grow quite easily. A chemical peel done properly will be able to remove minute wrinkles and scars related to acne. There are also several non-chemical approaches, which could lead to the skin tone lightening by a shade or two; however, this is something that dermabrasion or dermaplaning will not be able to do.

How does one prepare for a dermabrasion?

The very first step of preparation is finding a good doctor to do the procedure, because these days, procedures such as dermabrasion and chemical peel are being offered at neighbourhood salons. However, these might not be the best place to get such a crucial treatment done. You need to make sure that a qualified surgeon or dermatologist is doing your procedure for you.

When you meet your surgeon or dermatologist, make sure that you ask about everything – starting from how the procedure is done to how much time your skin will need to recover. It is important that you talk to your doctor openly, because you need to be clear on what exactly is going to happen. Talking openly will also ensure that your doctor has all the important details, such as your age, allergic reactions, health or skin related conditions and any previous surgeries.

In preparation for the procedure, your doctor will talk to you extensively, about the procedure, asking you several questions about your medical history and your expectations. They will also utilise this time to make you understand the possible risks and complications, how much time it will take for a full recovery and how your skin might look, till the said time. You will also be educated about how to take care of your skin immediately after the procedure and the costs that are involved. You will be given very specific instructions regarding what you should do and what you need to avoid in the days immediately after the procedure.

In the following article, we will continue looking at dermabrasion, especially the procedure, possible side effects and the recovery procedure.

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