Dermabrasion is a surgical skin resurfacing procedure that improves skin texture by stimulating collagen production. The procedure utilizes a mechanical device with an abrasive tip to remove the top layers of skin, removing surface irregularities and producing a smoother look and feel to the outer dermis.

If you’re considering dermabrasion, you might also want to view our pages on laser skin resurfacing and IPL Photorejuvenation to determine which treatment is the best choice for you.

Is dermabrasion right for you?

The collagen remodeling achieved with dermabrasion makes this procedure a favorite to correct scarring, especially deep acne scars. Dermabrasion is also effective for reducing facial wrinkles, lip wrinkles and sun damage. This treatment offers dramatic, long-lasting improvement in the skin’s texture and tone, giving you a clearer appearance and a healthy glow.

Dermabrasion alternatives, such as laser and chemical peels, may also be recommended for skin resurfacing, particularly for patients with darker skin tones. It is important to consult a skin care expert in order to determine which procedure is right for you. Dr. Weston will evaluate your skin, discuss your goals and assess your health and medical history before recommending a skin resurfacing procedure.

What to expect during dermabrasion

During your dermabrasion procedure, you are placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation and ice packs are applied to firm your skin and prepare it for abrasion. A coarse wire brush or burr (diamond wheel) is applied to your skin, removing the top layers. As you heal after dermabrasion, new, smoother skin is revealed.

It is important to remember that microdermabrasion is very different from dermabrasion, as DermaSweep/microdermabrasion delivers a far more superficial level of skin exfoliation. While dermabrasion is performed under anesthesia and requires a recovery period afterward, the treatment also produces substantial improvement in the skin that may last for many years.

Dermabrasion recovery

Because dermabrasion is an intensive skin treatment, your skin will be red and swollen after surgery. You will need to have someone drive you home after your treatment, due to the anesthesia you receive. You will also need medication and ointment to relieve pain, burning and itching that you may experience after your procedure. Be sure to follow all post-operative instructions and keep your follow-up appointments with Dr. Weston to ensure best results are achieved.

Swelling will begin to subside within the first week of recovery, and patients are usually able to return to work and normal daily activities within two weeks. Vigorous activity should be avoided for one to two months after dermabrasion. Complete dermabrasion recovery typically takes six months to a year. It is imperative that you protect your skin from the sun during the entire dermabrasion recovery period, as sun exposure while your skin is healing may cause skin pigmentation problems.

Contact Us

Jane Weston, MD

585 Glenwood Ave, Menlo Park CA 94025


Dr. Weston invites you to contact her to ask questions or schedule a consultation by calling our office today or filling out the form below to send us an email.