Unlike microdermabrasion, dermabrasion is a surgical procedure used for more intensive skin removal. It’s a method of surgical sanding that refinishes the skin. The procedure is performed with an instrument called a dermabrader, which scrapes away the outermost layer of the skin by using a rough wire brush. The scraping continues until the surgeon reaches the safest level that will leave the treated spot less visible.
Dermabrasion is painful and will require a local anesthetic, which means you will be awake but slightly sedated and won’t feel any discomfort. However, after the surgery, common side affects include: swelling, tingling, burning, and aching. The swelling generally subsides in a week or less.
Getting back to normal will take a little longer with dermabrasion, since your new skin will be very sensitive for a few weeks. It is generally advised to avoid any activity that could physically damage the skin, such as active sports or swimming. Consumption of alcohol will result in a flush of redness in the first couple of weeks following the surgery. Most importantly, sun protection is an absolute must during the recovery period. It’s crucial that you protect your face with sunscreen and hats until your new skin has completely settled in, which might take from 6 to 12 months.
The cost of dermabrasion is definitely higher since it is a surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that the average cost was around $984, not including anesthesia, facilities fees, and other related expenses.
Dermabrasion requires a lot of research and medical consultation prior to the actual procedure. There are definitely milder alternatives you can look into if you’d like to do “surface” repairs on your skin. For more information on dermabrasion and how to find a plastic surgeon near you, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeon (ASPS) website here.